Fully Sikh marks the theatrical debut of spoken word performer Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa. Performed by Khalsa as a story-telling exercise, the piece is supported by an impressively flexible and transformative kitchen set (by Isla Shaw), and accompanied by Pavan Kumar Hari (providing music, sound effects and additional comedic roles). Australia has a long tradition of broad humour playing on ethnic stereotypes, from Austen Tayshus to the wildly successful stage show Wogs Out of Work(1987). Although Fully Sikh’s title suggests similarities to this approach, the generally mild, humanist tone makes it closer to a transposition of the film Looking For Alibrandi(2000) into the world of the expatriate Punjabi Sikh community in Australia. The mood and topic of Fully Sikhalso parallels Bend it Like Beckham(2002).

Fully Sikh Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa and Pavan Kumar Hari. Photograph © Daniel J Grant

Khalsa is a charismatic and buoyant narrator, leading the audience through what is, in many ways, a familiar female coming-of-age story. Our protagonist must negotiate her way between claiming her ethnic heritage in defiance of white peers and school bullies, whilst nevertheless challenging or reworking her parents’ idealisation...

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