Tim Murphy’s Kuwaiti Moonshine is a dark one-man comedy/tragedy about teaching in Kuwait. Should you see it?
In Kuwait, like in other Muslim countries, they have a saying. Insha’Allah, which means “God Willing”. In Kuwaiti Moonshine, a show written and performed by Tim C. Murphy, this phrase becomes very important to the main character, Andy. Andy is caught with a cab driver who is selling date rum in a country where alcohol is illegal. Andy is thrown in prison and given an ultimatum: either he stays and accepts punishment under Sharia law, or he can be set free without a word but at the cost of someone’s life. It is a difficult position to be in, and one that anyone could have sympathy for.
The story is the most powerful aspect of the show, and you will find yourself drawn in to it. The performance was good but there were a few missteps in delivery. One recurring motif throughout the play is the one sided conversation where Murphy will converse with an invisible person and he tends to rush through them, as if not to give the other person time to respond. Now, usually this would be good, because you want the play to clip along quickly, but in this case it does the performance a disservice. Murphy also portrays other characters, such as the fellow teacher Jean Luc and Psychology professor Mark. These characters have less development beyond character quirks and minor background information and I almost thought he could be forgiven for cutting them or incorporating them in a different way.
But as I said, the story is really compelling and will resonate with you. Andy clearly has a lot of baggage and his journey is very cathartic. There were moments when the performance was weaker than it could have been, but I can recommend this play for the story alone and give it a three.
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