Sunjai Arif: Which Princess Are You?

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Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
Aug 1-25 (15.10)

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Sunjai Arif regaled us with sarcasm and quips as he made his way onto the tiny stage, in a tiny room at the Laughing Horse. If we were in any doubt about what the show, “Which Princess Are You” would be about, he immediately set us at ease by stating his love for Disney movies and more specifically, Disney Princesses. He got us involved straight away by asking which princess we thought we were and played a game to discover our inner princess, handing out tiny, not-that-well-made masks depicting said princesses.

The material for Sunjai’s show stemmed from his more than miserable search for love as a young teenager – quite some time ago now, but with a lasting effect on his psyche. He had used his love for the Disney franchise to try and change his younger life, promising himself a fairy-tale ending… but resulting in embarrassing and excruciating failure.

The show took one surreal turn after another as Sunjai – who was not a slender fellow – climbed in and out of tight leotards to play the role of Ursula, his heroine villain from the Little Mermaid, not to mention the beautiful Ariel herself. You have to picture him sitting there half naked with his long flowing hair and beard.  Yep – not pretty! He’d even made himself a cardboard cut-out of the famous Disney palace (yet another budget home-made effort) to put on his head to complete the Disney Diva look.

But the show wasn’t completely bonkers, in fact it even became a bit sad when Sunjai described his realisation that life didn’t really work out as it does for princesses in movies, causing him to lose faith in the heroes he loved so much. With his face half-hidden behind talcum powder, we realised that the comedy and the madness and mayhem was the only way to deal with the pain.

But there WAS a happy ending, as Sunjai charmingly gave us the joyful news that he was now happily married with kids, and told us that from the moment when they found each other, they just never let go. Which just goes to show that it doesn’t matter in the end what sort of princess you think you are. Good on you Sunjai, it was worth being a part of your crazy show, delivered with total wackiness and a great heart.

Daniel Donnelly

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