In this coming of age story, we meet tight-knit trio Alex, Maryam and Madani and follow them from their first encounter at primary school to their students days. As a boy, Madani, is keen not to disappoint anyone when he is told he is to be the man of the house after his mum left his violent dad. His younger sister Maryam is opinionated and inquisitive and Alex is in her own words, the ‘gobby’ one.
They grow up looking out for each other in the sometimes cruel world of the school playground and remain inseparable throughout 6th form. They all have very different dreams. ‘Mad’ who has left school wants to run his own boxing club after a trainer took him under his wing when he was just a boy. Alex is not very academic and dreams about marriage and kids, while Maryam is a top student passionated about righting the wrongs of the world and fighting for women’s rights. But no matter how different they are, they have no secret for one another and can talk of everything…
From the shy girl that Alex met on the school playground, Maryam has blossomed into a young woman who knows what she wants and is completely in tune with her own sexuality. She is more than happy to share every details about her latest conquest with Alex, who in contrast is about romanticism.
As A levels loom closer, the girls are full of excitement and anticipation about life after the exams. Political lectures to attend, parties to go to, boys to meet etc and Maryam gently taunts Alex about finally having sex.
Would losing her virginity be that almost magical transformation Alex had hoped for? Who can young men turn to when it comes to having a proper chat about what to expect the ‘first time’? Can true friends really talk about everything?
In this funny, punchy and realistic play by Lucy Danser, my teenage daughter and I couldn’t help getting attached to the three characters and our hearts sank as the cast perfectly conveyed the weight of external pressures on young people’s emotions and their sense of intimacy in a world when online porn is sometimes the only compass…
If This Is Normal is on tour and will next be in Guildford, Manchester and Liverpool, so don’t miss it!