Does my bomb look big in this? by Nyla Levy

Vickie Smith
Friday, May 1, 2020

A humorous approach to the very serious topic of grooming and religious extremism in young people. Published by Methuen Drama

Does my bomb look big in this?
Does my bomb look big in this?

This play is written for three female actors, and cleverly uses multi-roleing to capture the truth behind radicalisation and exploitation. It is a beautifully written play in which Levy tells the story behind the stereotypical ‘terrorist girlfriend’ or ‘jihadi bride’ with the aim of allowing an audience to understand in more depth the way that an individual is groomed into this life. She does this successfully in this play with her use of humour.

The multi-roleing that occurs throughout is indicated either within the stage directions or is clear within the dialogue. At the start of the script Levy gives a list of translations for particular words that will be found throughout the play, along with the accents that each character has: this is a rarity in a play but really aids you as a reader and/or a director as it allows you to visualise the character fully. I found myself reading the script with the accents in my head, which only added to the humour.

The stage directions throughout the play are very detailed, which again add to the detail of the play, the way in which it is presented means that you can really visualise how Levy intends for it to be performed.

There is a lot of overlapping dialogue which indicates fast pace, and the dialogue is extremely witty at times. It covers some very serious themes but does so in a way that will make you laugh out loud. The multi-roleing aids in this, with characters jumping from one role to another very quickly.

‘Prevent’ is a big aspect of schools safeguarding and this play provides an interesting way to explore this with students, making clear the dangers of grooming and how easily something like this can and does happen. Hard-hitting and well written, this is well worth purchasing and exploring with your students.

I personally, would love to be in a position where I could stage this play and wish I had seen it in performance.