Sushi Girls by Tony Leliw
British-Ukrainian playwright Tony Leliw brings to the stage his third play Sushi Girls – a fast-paced comedy about two girls from the East who come to England to study English.
If you thought his two previous plays ‘You What? He’s Ukrainian’ a comedy about his London upbringing, and UktheNuke, a political drama about a super hero who saves his country from its nuclear bully neighbour was thought-provoking, then Sushi Girls, which deals with cultural and social differences between two Japanese students and their British hosts in a fun way, will have you chomping on your rice cakes.
Shizuko is the daughter of a multi-millionaire restaurant owner living in Tokyo who has sent his daughter to London to try and break up her relationship with a boy who he believes is only after her money.
Shizuko knows her father’s plan, and is adamant that she will do everything she can to get back to Tokyo, even if it means, God forbid, killing her host family. Would she do that? Could she do that? That is the burning question.
Her flatmate Itchika, who comes from a poor family is a polite, good Japanese girl, the typical stereotype that her host family like. She always bows, has a smile, never asks for anything and is as quiet as a mouse.
Will Shizuko do enough damage to get them sent home, or can Itchika put the brakes on her activities and save the day? London has been her dream as a young child – Big Ben, Buckingham Palace – she doesn’t want it to end.
Host father Anton hates students, and when he gets angry, he starts speaking in cockney, which drives his wife Anna mad. “More students,” he says, “I kno’ we need the bangers and mash, cash, but you’re ‘avin a giraffe, laugh.”
He can only tolerate Japanese students because they are less demanding. His only problem is remembering their names. “Itchika sounds like a rash,” he tells his wife Anna, “is Shizuko the name of a Japanese motorbike?” he mutters.
Even though Anna knows that Shizuko is a handful, she is not convinced that Itchika is the good girl she portrays.
Anton is stunned by her character analysis, but what does he know about these two Taps from Japan. He has enough ‘trouble and strife’ with his wife.