The 10 nights of the title of Shahid Iqbal Khan play refers to itikaf, spending the last 10 days of Ramadan at the Mosque. The idea is to cut yourself off from worldly affairs, focus on prayer and read the Quran.
Yassar (Azan Ahmed) is always on TikTok, gets drunk with his friends and is generally a disappointment to his father.
When he half-seriously volunteers for itikaf, seemingly out of grief for his dead friend Aftab, it is the first time his father has been proud of him, so he can't back out.
Isolated from the distractions of social media and 'life' and with a strict routine of prayer, reading and breaking fast, it forces introspection.
Yasser has to confront some harsh truths about his behaviour, his faith and the death of his friend.
Azan Ahmed deftly gives voice to Yasser's thoughts and conversations with the few people he encounters in the Mosque. From his frenemy Usman to the itikaf expert assigned to guide him.
This was an interesting insight into a world I'm not familiar with. Naturally, there were references and jokes that went over my head, but there were plenty that did land.
And at its heart, it's a simple story about coming to terms with past choices and deciding how to move forward.
It's a lesson in how it's important to check in, take stock, and pause from life's distractions rather than rush from one thing to the next.
Yasser may count the minutes until he can eat, but 10 Nights, the play, is well-paced, funny and warm.
I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The play has subtitles in English and Urdu
10 Nights, Omnibus Theatre
Written by Shahid Iqbal Khan
Directed by Samir Bhamra
Starring Azan Ahmed
Running time: 80 minutes without an interval.
Booking until 21 February for more information and to buy tickets visit the Omnibus website.
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