Socialist Worker

The Hot Zone: challenging ‘war on terror’ stereotypes

by Rahul Patel
Issue No. 1973

The Hot Zone
By Nirjay Mahindru
Warehouse Theatre,
Croydon, south London
18 –23 October,
Phone 020 8680 4060

As Home Secretary, Charles Clarke and his deceiving boss, Tony Blair, stage the global “war on terror” in the British media an inspiring, clever and exciting new topical play has quietly hit London.

It centres around three British Asians, from Wolverhampton, Leeds and Croydon, who are locked up in a Guantanamo Bay style concentration camp.

The play intermingles lies, truths and the great British Asian humour to challenge the stereotypes drummed up by the “counter-terrorism” authorities of both Britain and the US.

Every “ruse” in the book has to be used by the “unarmed enemy combatants” — the detained — to try to convince the interrogators to release them. This is the only defence available to them.

One of them tries the line that he really is a nice guy because he gave to “Comic Relief”.

Another says that he will have to get Elton John to help his image after his release, the way Elton rushes to aid stars like Kate Moss.

Since all good plays need to end with a twist, all is not as it seems in The Hot Zone.

One of the final lines is, “our enemy think they’re smart, but rest assured we’re so much smarter”.

With Bush and Blair at the helm of imperialism that does not take much.

Get to the play.

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Article information

Sat 22 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1973
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