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Gobstopper

Khush Chahal
Graeae Theatre Company
Graeae / YouTube
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Hermon Berhane Credit: Graeae
Hermon Berhane Credit: Graeae
Hermon Berhane Credit: Graeae

Did you ever do any petty pilfering when you were a kid and then feel full of guilt? Come on, most of us have, probably just on one occasion: something of little value like the gobstopper that causes the Sikh girl in Khush Chahal’s story such anguish after she gets it from a machine with a plastic penny.

This week’s instalment in the Crips Without Constraints online series features guilt and greed, a controlling parent, a bright girl who knows more about some things than her mother and religious belief. Do other people’s beliefs apply to you? Does that mean you’ve risked hellfire?

Director Jenny Sealey gets a lively performance from Hermon Berhane that perfectly captures that conflict between the joy of getting something for nothing and terror that you’ve been caught in your misdemeanour.

This time, it isn’t you being caught out so, of course, you can find it funny, but it is the memory of such guilty moments that stays with us and helps keep us on the right path. Gobstopper is another brief monologue that showcases the writing and performance talent of the Graeae family. It is captioned for those who need it and has audio description for those just listening.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton