Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy

Theatre (political, comedy)

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  • Underbelly, Cowgate - Belly Button
  • 18:40
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Wound Up Theatre
  • Warnings and additional info: Scenes of Violence, Strong Language/Swearing
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years

This show has performances in multiple locations


Radicalisation, disenfranchisement and the rock band Queen. Dean joined the army, 'Danny' joined ISIS. One's from London; the other, Leeds. Bismillah! is their hour together in an Iraqi cell. 'A Black comedy of the highest order' ***** ( Discussing Islamophobia, Wetherspoons and the increasing price of a standard meal deal, which circles an awful truth – they just want to go home. Fresh from a national tour, Pleasance run and sell-out 2018 VAULT Festival run, the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award-shortlisted show returns, with its hilarious and compassionate look at modern Britain.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: There are 16 steps into this venue from the cowgate entrance.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Masked Mosquito 24 days ago


This was one of the best shows I saw at the Fringe this year. I am someone who usually dislikes political theatre but I found this to be completely gripping and intense. For me the two actors were sensational and gave the very best performances I saw during my time at the festival. This is really energetic and emotional demanding acting that would switch from the horrifying to the hilarious in a heartbeat. I also found the writing to be very strong, with great dialogue and humour. The actors were also excellent at constantly keeping the momentum through such a high-stakes piece. Another reviewer has criticised the performances for the shouting but for me this was not excessive but entirely justified given the circumstances the characters were in.

My only critism I have to do with some of the one-upmanship between the two characters in the writing. Many times the characters attempt to outdo each other with stories of hardship from their past but they did this so often that to me it became repetitive at times and felt somewhat contrived. Still this is a relatively minor complaint considering how strong the writing and production was as a whole.

My rating: 4.5 / 5

Elizabeth 30 days ago

The makings of a good play but overlong and a bit too much shouting. Some of the dialogue was well written and moments of great comedy but it needs editing. However a topic worth exploring.

Dominic Geraghty 35 days ago

Really great show. The audience is taken on an amazing and transformative journey by the two really talented performers and it all takes place in a single setting. Very impressive!

Julia K 39 days ago

Outstanding show with excellent acting. You wouldn't think a play about ISIS could be funny but it is. It's also thought provoking , angry, and gut wrenching.

Sean Davis 40 days ago

Bismillah-An Isis Tragicomedy (*****)
In Iraq, a captured British soldier must deal with his ISIS jailer who is from London. This show does a remarkable job of balancing job of developing the humanity of both characters while reminding us of the horrific situation of the condemned soldier dealing with his executioner. I often felt conflicted as they and I laughed and smiled as they discovered their common heritage between bouts of the assertion of the prisoner’s powerlessness.

This was the 4th most enjoyable of the 69 shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Garry Liburd 40 days ago

Oh my days!! I'm glad I didn't read the two previous reviews before I saw the show, I couldn't disagree more. I and the audience I was with laughed at the comedic elements within the play and felt the emotional drama that was created between the two actors. A well written play, performed by two very good acting performances and well worth a visit. I definitely rate it as 5 stars

Annika van Baar 41 days ago

Screaming does not make acting :(

Tom SC 45 days ago

Boring is the best word to describe it. The acting was good but little comedy or story.

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ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 33 days ago

Walking into the Underbelly venue, converted into a makeshift bunker for ISIS captives, we hear a compilation of Queen songs blast from the speaker. “I want to break free”, yelps the detainee. With over 50 performances and now in its second run at the Fringe, Wound Up Theatre’s ‘Bismillah!’ presents...

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Theatre Weekly (4/5 stars) 36 days ago

With some polished acting, a gripping storyline and character arcs that will make you laugh and cry, Bismillah! An Isis Tragicomedy is well worth a watch!

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