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One man, four countries and two apples

Love, Bombs And Apples, Warwick Arts Centre, until 22 May

Ever wanted to keep an email from someone, been convinced you’ve written a bestseller or hoped to find a perfect spot for a love tryst?

Then you will recognise some of these very human dilemmas that this one-man play explores.

In a series of four monologues, Asif Khan, holds the audience enthralled as he transports you from the wall in Gaza to an apartment in New York. This is not just theatre, this is storytelling at its very best.

At the heart of each monologue are very contemporary questions about religion and the clashing of cultures. The play covers some serious ground in terms of subject matter and language, but does so with a comic twist.

What is most impressive is Asif Khan’s ability to quickly change character with utter conviction for each of the tales, playing not only his own part, but implying that of other characters too.

Staging is kept to a minimum but at one point a whole family is suggested by a number of empty chairs. Asif draws his audience in, making them part of the performance. This is not a play to simply sit back and watch, it demands that its audience engages with it.

To work alone onstage for an hour and a half without pause is deeply challenging for any actor, but Asif Khan meets that challenge with gusto. The audience for the first night at the Arts Centre was small but appreciative.

This play won’t appeal to everyone, but a University setting where big ideas are discussed and debated seems very fitting for it.

Winner!