On 15th and 16th September the first all Algerian theatrical piece will be playing at the Bunker Theatre. Different Sand is written by Samia Dijilli and is about two British-Algerian sisters living under the same roof who’s relationship reaches tipping point as they embrace their cultural heritages in vastly different ways. The show has an all female Algerian cast and crew, Upper Circle spoke to Kheira Bey who plays Amira.
Amira is far more career driven than her sister Linda who spends more time partying than praying, Kheira finds her character very different to her own personality saying, “I think I actually share more differences with Amira than I do similarities, but hey that’s where I call on my acting training!” Although there are some elements of the character she can relate to, “I am not necessarily as close to my heritage as she is, however I do display Amira’s determination towards my other pursuits in life. I think when I want something, I do display Amira’s practical and efficient side very well.”
The thing Kheira found most shocking when starting work on the play was how funny the script was, especially as she hadn’t really worked with comedy before, saying “I remember reading it and thinking that this would definitely be a challenge for myself as an actor, as it is really funny!” Kheira also commented on how comedy can generally be a tricky genre for an actor to master, but was looking forward to tackling it and “was quite excited by the opportunity to stretch myself as an actor.”
Besides looking forward to the challenge of comedy Kheira has also been excited about being in the first group of people to display Algerian culture on a London stage. She commented on how strange it was that it had never been represented before, “it’s quite crazy considering how large the Algerian community is in this city.” She found that this also gave her a sense of responsibility stating that, “We are effectively writing history!”
As well as displaying Algerian culture on stage, Kheira feels the fact that Different sand shows a multicultural family is just as important, “I know that theatre sometimes rarely tackles this story, which is surprising, especially in such a multicultural society like London in particular. I think it’s important that we make theatre about this topic, for the public to feel like their voices and struggles are being heard in society.”
To find out more about Different Sand visit: https://www.bunkertheatre.com/whats-on/different-sand
Photo Credits: Veronika Casarova