Hadda and Hassan Lekliches! (4 stars)

One Day in Spring goes out on a high with a rich trip through Morocco's troubled recent history

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Hadda and Hassan Lekliches!

Photo: Leslie Black

The National Theatre of Scotland and Oran Mor’s One Day in Spring season goes out on a high at the Traverse this week, with a second outing for Jaouad Essounani's energetic two-hander, which takes a trip through Morocco’s troubled recent history with a disarming mix of humour and tragedy. Our hosts for this journey are force of nature Hadda (Juliana Yazbeck) and her cousin Hassan (El Razzougui), whose uneasy passage from innocence to experience is closely tied to their country’s fate and relationship with the West.

While Hadda graduates from increasingly horrific sexual exploitation to prostitution, learning to hate her oppressors along the way, Hassan’s quest for employment in the big city leads him into the company of radicals, and eventually to Guantanamo Bay. Essounani toys throughout with his audience’s expectations in a script that mixes realism and the fable in a powerful and provocative manner. Grid Iron’s Ben Harrison creates this rich canvas with only a smattering of props, some back projections and an atmospheric percussion soundtrack. The pair of performers, meanwhile, switch effortlessly from one character to the next, with Yazbeck’s virtuoso performance a particular revelation.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 9 Jun.

A Play, a Pie & a Pint: Hadda and Hassan Lekliches!

Hadda is a woman who has experienced society's dark side in rural Morocco. After brutal treatment at the hands of a landlord, she addresses a political and emotional monologue to God in this new lunchtime play by Jaouad Assounani. Ticket price includes a pie and a drink.

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