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Mogadishu (Nick Hern Books) Paperback – 27 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books (27 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848421338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848421332
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 843,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This will do for the inner city secondary school what the History Boys did for posh grammar schools. With its multi-layered plot, societal themes, fertile language and conflicted characters, this is modern Shakespeare by any other name and deserves to be both transferred in time to a larger venue and onto school curricula.

Punchy, edgy and hard hitting. Franzmann has a terrific ear for the mercurial shifts of tone and register in teenage exchanges (among themselves and with adults) and equally terrific insight in to the shifting patterns of group dynamics. --Guardian

Crackles with confrontation, accusation, self-justification and threat...Broody, bullying Jason is a perfect expression of adolescent insecurity whose impact is so disastrous on other people and not least himself. It's a sad, sad play, but a very good one, and much, much more than just promising.

About the Author

Vivienne Franzmann was born in 1971. Mogadishu is Vivienne's first published play. The author gave up teaching Drama in a London comprehensive after winning the Bruntwood award in 2008. She lives in East London. Her second play The Witness will be seen at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Jones on 19 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
I have read the play and seen it performed. This review is of the script rather than the performance.

The writer has won awards. The Telegraph thinks this may well be the best play of the year.


Could it be the dialogue?

Surely not. It is simply not the case that nearly every sentence ends with 'innit' when it comes out of a street-wise Asian (Saif)aged 15. White girls do not use the exact same slang and dialect as non-whites - if they do it sounds fake and forced.

Is it likely that a middle-class, respectable teacher would use the word 'Mother......' down the phone when her 15 year old daughter is sitting next to her?

Is it likely that the said 15 year old daughter would continually use 'f...' in front of her Mother and yet, oddly, not so much in front of her contemporaries?

Could it be the plot?

Is it likely that a proud Father, exasperated at his son's tough-guy behaviour will tell his son's friends that the son in fact wets the bed regularly? (The reason is probably something to do with the death of his father, but this is not explored.)

Would a teacher, who has spent most of the time defending/excusing her aggressor, right near the end have no sympathy for those who - out of misguided loyalty - supported the accuser?

Would an excluded kid, found to be lying by all, then kill himself?

Now, maybe I am wrong. Maybe all of the above would happen. But I, in common with the author, have also been teaching for many years; I too have taught people this age.

The language and the actions are unrealistic.

Now for the structure of the play.
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