As her faith wanes, Rumi enjoys a glass of wine and a bacon sandwich more than a trip to the mosque. A British Pakistani woman, born and raised a Muslim, she may have hit the jackpot with Simon who is willing to convert to Islam to keep her family happy. But, as Simon begins to explore his faith, Rumi’s world begins to spin off its axis.
Coconut will see the professional debut of Kuran Dohil as Rumi. The cast will also include Jimmy Carter (The Giant Killers, Edinburgh Fringe; Othello, Baron Court’s Theatre; Romeo and Juliet, Iris Theatre) as Simon and Tibu Fortes (A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe; Requiem, BBC/Netflix; People Just do Nothing, BBC3) who will play Riz and the Imam.
Although irreverent in tone, this dark comedy tackles grey areas of emotional and religious coercion. Coconut refers to the controversial term used to describe someone who is brown on the outside and white on the inside and this production does not shy away from interrogating the contemporary British Asian experience.
Mir’s writing is side-achingly funny at times … and deeply affecting at others … hits both a zeitgeist and the universality of coming to terms with your own identity. (FemaleArts) Writer Guleraana Mir explains, Coconut is a story I don’t see being told, it is genuinely representative of the realities of living in a multicultural society; relatable, regardless of what culture you’re from. It was very important to me, when creating the characters of Rumi and Simon, that they were honest, both to themselves and each other. Sometimes that honesty is hilariously funny, and other times it is painfully uncomfortable. But at the heart of the play is a woman trying to stay truthful to herself, in a way that we wouldn’t really expect from an Asian stereotype, which is why audiences have loved her.