Castaways, Mandala theatre in rehearsal, l to r Jonathan Clarke-Hesson, Yasmin Ahsanullah, Andy Greaves 2

Press reaction to Castaways

“An intense, well-paced production that enables the voices of the urban young to be heard……Sidhwa draws powerful performances from all three actors who make their characters believable and contemporary.” Jon Lewis, Newbury Weekly News

 “Thought-provoking theatre for young people to get their teeth into….A tightly directed and choreographed production that succeeds in exposing a mainstream audience to a slice of life they are only aware of from newspaper headlines.” Joanna Matthews, Daily Information, Oxford

“These three young performers are talented. True, their teenage years are not far behind them but they pull out tight performances to capture those gawky mannerisms, that non-stop energy, the cynicism and childish delight that is typically late teens behaviour.” Joanna Matthews, Daily Information, Oxford

 “An unforgettable and life-changing production…. Written by Atiha Sen Gupta, directed by Yasmin Sidhwa and brilliantly performed by its dynamic young cast, this is a play that doesn’t provide answers but forces us to think, and to think hard, about how our society values its young people, who are, after all one of its greatest resources and our best hope for the future.” Jenny Lewis, Oxford Times

“Emotional and funny, fast-paced and tragic.” Memela Cavanagh, Oxford Today

Press reaction to Night Light

Rencontre applause copy

“Mandala Theatre Company’s Night Light is a bold and powerful theatrical experience, illuminated by the considerable wattage of award-winning South African writer Nadia Davids’ script, Yasmin Sidhwa’s assured direction and superb performances from the young leads….Mandala Theatre has richly justified its central ethos of ‘visceral theatre.” Alison Boulton, Daily Information. Read the full review.

“Nadia Davids’ play – a frank and emotional eye opener to the terror refugees flee and the rejection they face on coming here.” Sam Bennett, Ox Magazine. Read the full review.

“Night Light at Pegasus tonight was a moving fabulously acted portrayal of the problems lone child asylum seekers face when they become 18 and are confronted with the possibility of deportation.” Sylvia Vetta, writer

“I salute Mandala Theatre for their debut production. Another like this and I’ll proud to wear the Mandala Theatre logo on a sweatshirt.” Natty Mark Samuels, The Dub.

“All three performances are convincing, and an appreciative, packed audience roared its approval of a new company, whose creativity has a bold intention of bringing the stories of marginalised people into the limelight.” Jon Lewis, Newbury Weekly News.

Feedback from Rencontre Festival, Grenoble

“We received some wonderful feedback from several audience members, with many saying they were moved to tears by our show. Many said they had truly connected emotionally to the characters and how the play touches on a sense of belonging in all of us.” Mandala participant, age 20

“The reaction we received after our play Night Light made us feel like we had created something with real impact.”

“The debates made me see that everyone can take something different from the same experience. It’s all relative to who you are and how you see the world.” Mandala participant, age 18.

Audience feedback from rehearsed reading

“I really enjoyed it. I thought that the play was very strong and that the actors were particularly good”.

“I thought it was very thought provoking, important and powerful”.

“The script was beautifully written and the acting compelling, thought provoking and inspiring. I really enjoyed the performance.”