A BRILLIANT young cast bring the devastating reality facing asylum seekers to life in thrilling style in Shamser Sinha's debut play.

Aysha Kala shines as 17-year-old Khadija, from Afghanistan, juggling her studies and tangled love life with her fight to stay in the country.

Her blossoming relationship with the sweet, but slightly nerdy Ade (Victor Alli) provides the heartbeat of the short but moving play.

The chemistry between the pair is as sparkling as the concrete Hackney estate on which they live is dull, and the rest of the small young cast also bring great vitality to their roles.

Sinha's background as a lecturer in sociology meant there was always a danger this could be a bit preachy but hints of this in the early stages are soon forgotten.

Not a moment is wasted by director Tim Stark, with even the scene changes having a sense of poetry to them.

Sinha cleverly leaves the audience guessing until the end as to why Khadija and her friend Liza ended up seeking asylum in the UK, ensuring a haunting climax.

But the real joy lies in the everyday interaction between Khadija and her young friends, whose trained suspicion does not stop them wanting to experience everything life has to offer.

With no small thanks to the cast, Sinha pulls off the delicate task of penning a life-affirming play which also serves as a wake-up call about the way we treat young asylum seekers.