British Theatre ★★★★★
Ambreen Razia’s performance is astonishing and engaging. For any actor to hold an audience interested for over an hour is an achievement in itself. The fact that she manages to inject the performance with humour, and the fervour of youth, says a lot about her understanding of her subject, of the quality of the writing and of the talent of Razia herself. Shaheeda is no stereotype. She’s complex, and ultimately young!
Plays to See: ★★★★★
"Much of this play is very funny, not least because the problems on show are not confined to Muslims, or indeed to any one group. Stress between generations is on of the many elements in human existence with which we all have to learn to deal. Young as she is, Shaheeda is maturing as we watch her. This really is an evening in the theatre that people should not miss."
The Stage: ★★★★
"Ambreen Razia proves to be as talented a writer as she is a performer. The play follows 16-year-old Shaheeda as she struggles to align her Pakistani heritage with the realities of life as a London teenager. This is a sophisticated, moving and often very funny piece of writing, particularly nuanced in its depiction of Shaheeda's relationship with her mother."
London Theatre 1: ★★★★
"Razia’s performance, flitting between different characters (she even plays Shaheeda’s boyfriend Aaron) is certainly energetic and passionate, and the audience is, for the most part, addressed directly. That’s why it’s so absorbing. This simultaneously amusing and poignant show reminds us that behind every seemingly surly and irascible teenager is a person just as human as we are."
‘Brilliant moments are born out of the contrast of our character’s two coexisting worlds of school, boys, weed, Mosque and dreams of traveling the world. Alongside that of her sister’s traditional Pakistani wedding and her ever disapproving Mother. The high energy humorous portrayal of a girl’s London High School.
Remote Goat: ★★★★★
I was struck how the modern teenage situations and dilemmas assailing Shahida and her mates reflect and echo my own experience and those of my school friends, however many decades have passed. The details may differ, but the stories don’t. It may not be comfortable to remember, but it’s better that we do or we risk alienating the young and leaving them to struggle alone. When we do that, we fail them. We also fail them when we stop having adventures.
The Upcoming: ★★★★
"Comedian Pete Johansson wisely stated that one can’t be scared of something whilst laughing at it – a phrase that poignantly summarises comedy’s role in Diary of a Hounslow Girl. With this production Razia manages to confront bold issues of societal expectations, loss and teen-angst without pigeonholing her play within the confines of a tragedy/family drama.."
Everything Theatre: ★★★★
"I was laughing throughout unstoppably, but this did not distract from the important message Ambreen set out to deliver. A wonderful venue for a wonderful play, and definitely deserving of the incredible reception it received. The Diary of a Hounslow girl is an absolute must see!"
She Speaks, We Hear
"Ambreen Razia had the audience spellbound by her electric performance. From start to finish I could not avert my eyes or raise my glass to take a sip of my drink for such was her charismatic presence. Hounslow Girl is revolutionary in its message and it must be watched by mothers and daughters alike."
Perth Arts Live
"There are times when their proximity and frankness gives you chills, and their collective power is inspiring and energising. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory is one to watch.
The F Word
“This show by Skyers Productions consists of six monologues reflecting a broad spectrum of society: the schizophrenic 16-year-old, played impmmressively by Ambreen Razia”
“They vary equally in quality, from the quick fire vividness and virtuosity with which Comerford and especially Razia who portrays a smart, mouthy 16-year-old not only hearing voices but arguing with them as she tells us her story”
Packed with wit, charm, pathos, empathy inducing observational integrity and wry humour, here is a play that deserves to noted at the highest levels of theatre’
Western Park Gazette
[Her] writing is masterful, the acting is sublime’
Her character, Shaheda, doesn’t end up heading for Syria. Instead, after being filled with no less evocative lies, she ends up pregnant and stuck in her Hounslow bedroom. Her vulnerability to the suave ways of a local reprobate is less about the strictures of her heritage and more about her inability to understand what her expectations of love can or should be. In other words, in transcending the particularities of her Muslim-ness, the audience finds universally recognisable challenges faced by young people today. Like Shaheda, long before they’re “jihadi brides”, these girls are lost schoolgirls, desperate for affirmation, love and recognition.