December 9 2016
New production by Tara following on from success of ‘Dick Whittington Goes Bollywood’ and ‘Bollywood Cinderella’…
IT’S THAT TIME of year and most of us love a good panto – and for those looking for a little extra spice and masala this Xmas, Tara Arts have one of the hot tickets in town.
“Bollywood Jack” is a contemporary pantomime based on the classic “Jack and the Beanstalk” tale.
Jack is actually Zakeel (Sohm Kapila), who lives in South London with his Mum (Ralph Birtwell) and tries to avoid the evil machinations of Hubble-Bubble, The Giant (Deven Modha).
Along the way, there are a few songs, a few poems courtesy of Rudyard Kipling, more than a few laughs and much merriment – and a handful of audiences will also be treated to cameo appearances from the Mayor of Wandsworth Councillor Richard Field.
He said: “This exceptional theatre company is a jewel in Wandsworth’s cultural crown. I believe I will be the first Mayor of Wandsworth to walk the boards while on official mayoral duty. If the performances are half as fun as the rehearsals, we will all be in for a great night.”
Jatinder Verma, director of Bollywood Jack and Tara’s director added:”Councillor Field’s enthusiasm has been infectious throughout rehearsals and I’m convinced his cameo appearance will prove a jewel in the crown our Christmas show.”
The play is penned by writer and critic, Farrukh Dhondy, who told www.asianculturevulture.com he has helped to put together some of the lyrics. The music is performed by Ernest Ignatius, who will be singing, Hassan Mohyeddin on percussion and Danyal Dhondy on keyboards.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the effervescent Zak (Kapila) himself and pose him a few searching questions…
www.asianculturevulture.com (ACV): What do you like to do most?
Jack: I really love to watch all the latest Bollywood Films, and love the Indian channels we have especially Zee TV and Colors. Since Ma has stopped working as a nurse at St George’ss, she hogs the remote all the time so I don’t get to watch them as much.
ACV: Who are your friends and what makes them so?
Jack: My bestest friend is Zeta (Aria Prasad), she’s from Burntwood School in Earlsfield, we love making up dances together from all of our fave films. Sometimes we go climbing up the beanstalk and find as many beans as we can – my favourite is Indian Channa.
ACV: What do you fear?
Jack: My mum’s chappels (shoes), she sometimes chases me round the house with them when she gets angry – but luckily I’m too fast for her. I was also really scared when I first met the Giant – Hubble Bubble (Deven Modha).
ACV: Do you look up to anyone?
Jack: Although Moomoo (Ralph Birtwell) can be a little old fashioned, I do look up to our yogic cow (Shala Nyx), because she’s always up for a laugh, and makes my mum happy with her cool yoga poses and exercises. The Udder dance we do is a family favourite.
ACV: What does Christmas mean to you?
Jack: I usually get together with my mates at King George’s park the night before and we go carol singing on Garratt Lane, I’ve tried to convince them to add a few Hindi numbers in the mix, especially the Punjabi MC song – I reckon this would go down a treat – and we may do that this year.
We are happy to take requests, innit! Christmas dinner is the best! And we usually cook chicken instead of Turkey coz Ma says it’s better. And Ma sometime adds chilli to the gravy.
ACV: Do you have a favourite Bollywood film/character and why?
Jack: Shah Rukh Khan has been my fave since I was a little boy. He even retweeted me the other day. I think that he is extraordinary because he can play so many different characters. My Aunty actually got to meet him once, so my dream is to work with him one day – because anything is possible.
ACV: What makes you laugh?
Jack: My Uncle Jatinder is a very funny and grumpy man, he makes us all laugh when he quotes funny poems from Rudyard Kipling.
ACV: What’s your favourite place? And why?
Jack: I really like the acting class I go to at St Andrew’s Church (Earlsfield), down the road from our Henry Prince estate (where Mayor Sadiq Khan grew up). I get to sing and dance and have a great time. This year I hope that loads of people will come to see Bollywood Jack so I can show them how I beat the giant and finally made Ma happy!
‘Bollywood Jack’ by Farrukh Dhondy, directed by Jatinder Verma, until January 7 2017, Monday-Saturday 7.30pm, matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm, check listings, Tara Arts, Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lan, Earlsfield, London SW18 4ES
More info/Tickets: https://www.tara-arts.com/whats-on/bollywood-jack/about
Pictures: Courtesy of Tara (Tallulah Shepard) except for inset of Jatinder Verma (Sunita Baxia)
Have you been to the new Tara Theatre?