Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. Itself an imposing building and host to much brilliant theatre and this was no exception as it hosted the first Welsh refugee story to be brought to the stage. The Boy With Two Hearts, is a play based on the book of the same name by local author Hamed Amiri and adapted for stage by Phil Porter.
The scene is set, it is Afghanistan in the year 2000. The Taliban are rapidly taking over the country and imposing intolerable laws, people speak out but sadly to their detriment as Hamed and his family soon discover.
Their lives change overnight and soon begins a race against time to leave their homeland…a race for survival. The play tells the story of how Hamed and his family embarked on their perilous journey to safety, the hardships and the dangers they encountered enroute, the people who were there to take from them what little they had and the humanity shown by others. It portrayed a family bound by love, by commitment to each other and by the courage and determination to succeed.
As the story unfolds we learn about each individual member of the family, their hopes, their desires, their dreams. It gives a realisation that people are the same the world over, all striving for the same things, the right to live a life without fear, without hardship and most importantly of all a life of freedom. During the play we also learn a lot about one of the brothers life-threatening condition and the treatment he so desperately needs.
The acting was incredible, within minutes you were convinced that this was the family themselves and they weren’t actors playing the parts. The set was grimly atmospheric, the addition of the displayed dialogue was genius and the live vocals created a haunting backdrop. The story played on your every emotion, it was heartfelt, thought provoking, humorous, happy, sad…and real. I can say with all honesty that this play not only made me happy and sad in equal measure but left me thinking, it made me realise how little I know about the plight of others and how little I can do to help