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Dugsi Dayz

Words: Aria Tsvetanova

Four 16-year-old Somali girls end up in detention and the teacher who is meant to be presiding over them is nowhere to be found. Stuck in a mosque for the next hour, the girls retell Somali scary stories for a new generation, gossip and eventually, share how they wound up in detention in the first place.

The show is an absolute joy to watch from beginning to end. Youthful without being obnoxious, funny without resorting to boomer humour of the ‘kids on their phones these days’ flavour. A compassionate portrait of what it is like being a teen in 2023, every joke comes not from a place of scorn, but from a deep understanding of the struggles of growing up. Dare I say…The Breakfast Club if it were funny.

Each character is distinct and complex, going beyond the stereotypes of ‘the jock’, ‘the outcast’ or ‘the geek’. The props and costumes department should also be commended. Little details, like how each girl wears their hijab and what bags they carry, convey so much character. From Munira’s limited edition Jordans to the stickers on Hani’s notebook, we are aware of who these girls are from the moment they step on stage. The actresses also sustain the illusion of being teens successfully through small gestures and impeccable inflection.

Dyslexia, overbearing parents, school gossip, vampiric aunties: all that a 14 year old Somali girl in the UK has to reckon with. Dugsi Dayz is a tongue in cheek coming-of-age narrative distilled and to the point. A must see!

Dugsi Dayz
Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button
10-13, 15-20, 22-27 Aug


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