Evening Conversations. Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D to 12 November 2022. 4****. William Russell

This charming encounter with Sudha Bhuchar, actress and a mum. is an odd affair – not quite stand up, more dramatic monologue but essentially not all that dramatic. It is almost as if she is reading a book at bedtime to the audience. The downstairs room at the Soho Theatre, not the most comfortable of venues, did her no favours – the floor is level, heads obscure the view and her final moments when she stretches out to sleep supported by a few bricks was almost impossible to see as were the moments when she abandoned her on-stage chair to sit down on stage a carry on with the conversation she was having with the audience. She also had some trouble hitting the right level for all that she had to say to come across. But it was a first night and as the run continues she will surely get the measure of the room to tell what is a most beguiling tale of life in India, the heading to Africa and now here living in Wimbledon with her two sons who are essentially Britons unlike their mother with her past rooted in other lands and societies. The clash between them as they do their British thing while she finds herself behaving like her mother is pertinent and amusing. This is one part of what makes up multi-cultural Britain. It all began with her walking in through the audience and then saying she had to put on her make up and it would only take two minutes, which it did, after which she was off into the conversation using a book as guide so this does seem to be a work in its early stages – or maybe she was, since she was looking back, consulting her diary. Either way this is an evening like no other.

Sudha Bhuchar

Director: Kristine Landon-Smith.

Production Photograph: Harry Elletson.

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