Writer: Nikhil Parmar
Director: Georgia Green
Nikhil Parmar takes centre-stage in Invisible, his self-written solo show spotlighting the lack of visibility for South Asian performers in the entertainment industry.
With skilful accents and a lot of laughs, Paramr invites the audience into the life of Zayan, a struggling actor and father to infant Sienna. Upon learning that Sienna’s mother has coupled up with his drama-school rival, Terrence, whose career is now blowing up, Zayan realises he must get his life together and take action. This isn’t easy, however, when the world seems to look right past him at every turn.
It is evident within minutes of the show that Parmar is a talented comedian. His quick-witted humour is delivered so naturally – so off-handedly – it raises the question of how many jokes are actually scripted. The production’s comedic beginnings cannot be faulted and, after Zayan’s desperation causes his thoughts to take a dark turn, the show concludes with an atmosphere of impressive intensity with Parmar showing the heavy heart that accompanies his funny bone.
The transition between these contrasting elements is where any criticism of the show lies. Following an extended period of light-hearted, playful storytelling; some of the first serious moments of the show fly under the radar and risk being perceived as awkward jokes. Once the audience calibrates to this shift in tone, Invisible continues its infectious hold over the intimate space; however the adjustment period is notably jarring. As a piece which flies through its hour-long running time, Parmar could afford to extend the piece slightly which may allow space to iron out this crease in an otherwise superb production.
Invisible is the first of three new plays premiering in the Bush50 Studio Season, marking the venue’s 50th birthday, and it has certainly set a high bar; the first half of the production is literally laugh-a-minute and a complete joy to witness. For those seeking an entertaining evening that packs a punch, Invisible should certainly make your to-see list.
Runs until 16 July 2022