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Review Roundup: BAGHDADDY Opens at the Royal Court

Review Roundup: BAGHDADDY Opens at the Royal Court

Read the reviews for Baghdaddy here!

Philip Arditti, Souad Faress, Jasmine Naziha Jones, Hayat Kamille and Noof Ousellam star in Baghdaddy, written by Jasmine Naziha Jones and directed by Milli Bhatia, running at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs through Saturday 17 December 2022.

Baghdaddy is designed by Moi Tran, with lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Elena Peña, movement direction by Valentina Ceschi, and assistant direction by Melina Namdar. The fight direction is by RC-Annie and the dialect coach is Edda Sharpe.

'Congratulations! Your pain is commercially viable.'

It's 1991 and the Gulf War rages three thousand, three hundred and twenty miles away. Darlee is 8 years old, crying behind the wheelie bookcase in Miss Stratford's classroom. She's just realised she's Iraqi. Or half. Maybe both.

She saw it on the news last night after Neighbours and fish fingers. Heard the fear slipping through the receiver, saw it oozing from Dad's eyeballs and into the living room as he tried to phone home. What she can't process now, she'll be haunted by later; the spirits hounding her will make sure of that...

'Operation Desert Storm; you won't lose a wink of sleep over it. Except your Daddy. Your Daddy's shitting his pants. Enjoy your Viennetta.'

Baghdaddy is a playfully devastating coming-of-age story. Told through clowning and memory, it explores the complexities of cultural identity, generational trauma and a father-daughter relationship amidst global conflict.

See what the critics are saying...


Alexander Cohen, BroadwayWorld: Its most poignant moments are the ones unencumbered by glossy direction. Towards the end of the play a more mature Darlee delivers a searing monologue in response to a seemingly innocent question "What do you think of Saddam?" Its poetry flows with scorching fury. Each line is a theatrical hammer delivering blow after blow, smashing geopolitics and history to pieces. When Naziha Jones's razor-sharp writing is given the room to breathe, it breathes fire.

Matt Wolf, London Theatre: Steeped in a roiling mixture of grievance and affection, the play comes movingly to a close on a straightforwardly expressed "thanks Dad" - proof positive that for all life's lacerations, what will survive of us with any luck is love.

To read more reviews, click here!


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There is an interesting theme emerging in the Royal Court's new season. Each play so far has been part of a paradigm shift towards exploring intensely personal stories and questions. It doesn't feel like a knee jerk reaction to a post Covid world. It feels like there is something more fundamental going on.


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