Chunkyz Shisha Lounge is a home away from home for Jihad, Rashid and Asif, a space where community whispers are heard, jokes are told, and new hustles are born. But its future is under threat, having become a target for local politicians.
Aspiring journalist Jihad wants to fight back. After winning a competition to produce his own documentary, he sets out to create something that gives a voice to his community and challenges the usual stereotypes that fill the airwaves. Will he be able to create something that makes his boys proud? Or will his dreams of becoming a journalist come at a cost too high to bear?
Mohamed-Zain Dada's debut play, Blue Mist is a story about South Asian Muslim men navigating a system that isn't built for them. It premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in October 2023, directed by Milli Bhatia, in a co-production with SISTER.
'Shisha lounges are an essential part of the Muslim experience, bruv, like the Fillet-O-Fish.'
'Vivid and ambitious... complex ideas presented with verve... could not be more current, or urgent'Guardian
'Boisterously enjoyable... Dada has a real feel for character and atmosphere, and his debut is shot through with vibrancy'Evening Standard
'A lovable drama about a trio of male Muslim friends and the run-down shisha lounge they hang out in... gets right to the heart of what a safe space can be for young men and how devastating it is to violate that... So many great lines whizz by in the back-and-forth of Dada's dialogue'Time Out
'A drama that touches on a range of urgent themes and shows the importance of public spaces for our increasingly isolated urban youth'WhatsOnStage
'Mohamed-Zain Dada's warm, well-observed sitcom handles sensitive themes around Islamophobia and men's mental health with care and compassion... his vibrant, naturalistic dialogue is packed with slang and striking turns of phrase... an alternative perspective that is refreshing and necessary'The Stage
'Authentic and energetic... offers an insight into shisha lounge culture — and challenges easy stereotypes about youth and masculinity... Dada writes with a wonderfully warm vibrancy, delivering some brilliant anecdotes... a report from the front line of Muslim masculinity... signals the arrival of a thrilling new voice on London's new writing scene'Arts Desk
'A brilliant debut... Dada writes with authentic personality, introducing his three characters with naturalistic idiosyncrasies that paint a vibrant cultural landscape... it's funny, sarcastic, satirical, thought-provoking, informative, original. It has it all'Broadway World