“A Behanding in Spokane” promises dark & entirely politically-incorrect humor

{“Trust me, Dubai is craving this”}

I can’t believe I’m this ridiculously excited for dark humor! Thank you H72 Productions for giving #nikitalyfe the honor of the first sneak peek of your upcoming show! **Disclaimer: This show is rated Mature for 17+ audiences **

“Trust me, you’re going to laugh till it hurts — and then be shocked that you’re laughing because if you think about it, what we’re saying is completely inappropriate and way out of line. The question really isn’t whether a Dubai audience is ready for this kind of show — we think we’re about to give them what they’ve been craving all along.”


Behanding in Spokane cast #nikitalyfe
Yes, that’s me holding Carmichael’s severed hand! #nikitalyfe with “A Behanding in Spokane” cast and directors: Justin Ciprano | Khalid Bilal | Gautam Goenka| Carine Bouery| Arjun Burman| Sid Abbas.

That’s how Assistant Director, Sid Abbas and actress, Carine Bouery got my sister, Devina and me curious about H72 Production‘s upcoming show, “A Behanding in Spokane,” performing June 27th to 29th at the Junction Theatre, Dubai.

At first I was very skeptical of the concept. I’m not exactly the first person to queue up for gallows humor or racist epithets in comedy and yet, after watching this absolutely explosive cast’s chemistry and banter during rehearsal last night, I absolutely cannot wait for the curtains to raise on Thursday evening.

Set in the United States, McDonagh’s play premiered on Broadway in 2010. Its oddball characters are worth discussing: while they may seemly believably ordinary individually they come together in just the right mix of absurd to create a gleefully riotous chaos.



It seems like Dubai theatre’s in a mood for Irish playwrights at the moment. While Dubai Drama Group channels Brian Friel, who actor Steve Wyatt dubs “the Shakespeare of Ireland” in “Faith Healer,H72 Productions prepares to unleash award-winning Martin McDonagh, “the Quentin Tarantino of Ireland” upon us this weekend.

Justin Ciprano plays Carmichael, who’s been searching for his severed hand for twenty-seven years. I last saw this iconic local actor as the future Richard the Lionheart in “The Lion in Winter.” Justin’s background as a radio jockey really shines in his distinctive voice modulation — it’s equal parts intriguing as it is menacing in his villainous threats on stage.

A Behanding in Spokane - cast
It’s best not to correct a man on his language when he’s got a gun. But Marilyn’s not getting the hint. (Khalid, Carine & Justin in scene for A Behanding in Spokane)

Khalid Bilal (remember him from The Panel?) and Carine Bouery treated us to one of their scenes as Toby and Marilyn, a con-artist duo and bickering couple who try to convince Justin’s Carmichael they’ve got his hand. Marilyn’s conviction to stay perfectly politically correct — even if it’ll get her and Toby killed — is bound to remind you of that one #woke person we all end up meeting at some point in our lives.

Arjun Burman as Mervyn
Arjun Burman amazes as Mervyn. I’m not posting a video of this hilarious monologue to avoid spoilers, but it is awesome!

“Eccentric, super inappropriate and darker than dark humor to the point where you’re uncomfortable with why you find this stuff funny,” said Devina after getting our first exquisite look at Mervyn, the motel receptionist Arjun Burman‘s character. “It spirals so quickly out of control that you can barely keep up” with how far down the rabbit hole Mervyn’s supposedly “white knight” absolutely messed up daydreams get you.

“Mervyn just wants to make everything worse so he can swoop in and make it better,” agrees director, Gautam Goenka, who has wanted to put up this “dark, laugh out loud comedy” since he got the script two years ago.

A Behanding in Spokane - at the Junction Dubai
Rated M for language and pretty much everything else in this show. Opening tomorrow at the Junction, Dubai!

In a world where everyone thinks they’re right, here’s a play where almost everyone is wrong. They have such strong convictions in their “wrongness” that what ensues is a hilarious blend of a stream-of-conscious sounding that’ll lead your thoughts to something around, “wait…what…nooo…why am I laughing? Oh god no…am I a terrible person for laughing? …wow okay I’m going with it, this show is great.” You don’t want to miss it.

Tickets are available on Platinumlist Dubai and at the Junction theatre if you wanna take that last minute chance! Showtimes are June 27th – 28th at 7:30PM and June 29th at 3:30PM and 7:30PM. I will definitely be there Opening Night tomorrow so come over and say hi! Until next time, keep exploring 🙂 xoxo #nikitalyfe

A Behanding in Spokane nikitalyfe
Posters are up! Nikita Taimni at the first sneak peek of the show’s rehearsals at the Junction Theatre, Dubai





Author: Nikita Taimni

A Dubai-based blogger, I write about travel, theatre and lifestyle in the cities I explore around the world. Follow me on Instagram @nikitalyfe and follow via email if you enjoy reading my posts!

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