Review: Some lovely lighter moments but something didn't gel - Reared, Theatre503
Review: Perfection that is robotic in Instructions For Correct Assembly, Royal Court

Review: an effervescent story of love and self discovery in Coconut, Ovalhouse

Coconut bubbles with wit and laughs, it is illuminating, heart-warming and affecting.

Rumi (Kuran Dohil) is a bit tipsy when she meets Simon (Jimmy Carter). She's drowning her sorrows having had a disastrous night Halal Speed Dating, more of which we learn of later in the play.

Coconut  Ovalhouse - Courtesy of Greg Goodale (8) Kuran Dohil
Kuran Dohil in Coconut, Ovalhouse. Photo: Greg Goodale

Something clicks and the two start dating, the problem is that drinking and eating pork aside, Rumi comes from a Muslim family. Simon was raised Catholic.

Well, it is the germ of the problem.

This isn't a traditional tale of star-crossed lovers kept apart by external voices, by different cultural and religious backgrounds, any family resistance towards the match is in the background.

Simon decides to convert to Islam so that he can marry Rumi. It's just a short ceremony, repeating some vows Rumi assures Simon and then it's done with.

But it isn't done with and that is the primary source of tension as it forces the couple to question who they are, who they want to be and where they fit in.

Kuran Dohil's Rumi is funny, effervescent, relatable - one of those characters that are a delight to spend time with.

Coconut  Ovalhouse - Courtesy of Greg Goodale (6) Jimmy Carter and Kuran Dohil
Jimmy Carter and Kuran Dohil in Coconut, Ovalhouse. Photo by Greg Goodale

She talks to herself or 'Riz' played by Tibu Fortes (he also plays Irfan the Imaam) but it is not just through these 'internal' debates that we see her struggle with her own identity.

In Rumi and Simon's relationship and journey of self discovery Guleraana Mir's play refreshingly challenges cultural stereotypes but it also has a universality, examining the desire to fit in while being true to ones self.

Coconut bubbles with wit and laughs, it is illuminating, heart-warming and affecting and it's getting four stars from me.

Catch it at Ovalhouse until 28 April and it's 90 minutes without an interval. It then goes on tour around the UK, for details head to The Thelmas website.

You can read more about the play and writer Guleraana Mir in this Q&A and if you are looking for more good fringe theatre I can recommend Plastic at the Old Red Lion which is on until April 21. (Read my review of Plastic here.)