Summerworks Review: France, or The Niqab (2012, Tanja Jacobs)

The Summerworks blurb was all in needed to read to pique my interest in this play.  “Warning: Nudity, Language, Sexism, Put-downs, Assaulting a police officer.”  And so, just like a teenager in the ’80s reading a PMRC sticker on an album cover, I was drawn towards France, or The Niqab.  The only thing that might draw me in more would be a rumour that the play includes secret messages if played backwards. 

Of course, the idea of warning people that a fake police officer is going to get assaulted on stage is an absurd one, which makes sense as this play, while dealing with some serious issues, is a comedy.  Telling the story of a French lawyer who decides to spend a day (a business day, to be precise) wearing a niqab so as to better understand the plight of her client.  Of course, lots of farcical moments arise from this scenario and a few shots are taken at the Candian government as well as that of France.  The play basically posits the idea that a woman should be allowed to wear whatever she pleases, whether it be a niqab or a miniskirt and that it’s not the place of a government to make such a decision.  That it does so while offering up a few laughs is a good thing.

Posted on by Paul in Summerworks