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‘Bring on the Bollywood’ musical – bigger, bolder, even better?

‘Bring on the Bollywood’ musical – bigger, bolder, even better?

Last year it made waves as one of its kind, now it’s back and touring the country and aiming to spread the message and stylistics of popular Indian cinema far and wide (and in theatre, the intermission actually works… 😉).

BOLLYWOOD is alive and kicking and coming live in the flesh into your front room – imagine being able to actually touch superstars Shah Rukh Khan or Katrina Kaif (and in 12A way only, please!)

If you want to enjoy the sounds, colour and inevitable melodrama and histrionics that come with typically tortured South Asian romances, then there’s a ticket for you at ‘Bring on the Bollywood’ – an all singing-dancing-drama experience.

First staged last year by Phizzical (artistic director, Samir Bhamra), it’s back on a nationwide tour and was at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, South London last night, where you can catch it till Sunday (May 28).

Dr Katrina Pawar (Nisha Aaliya) in ‘Bring on the Bollywood’

A little different to the original which saw in Coventry last year and with many cast changes – it retains its huge warmth, humour and feel for Bollywood extravaganza – and with the right crowd, it could make for a very lively and boisterous night out but the good burghers of Kingston were rather more restrained.

A very nearly full theatre, and mostly white, appeared to lap it all up and laugh, tap their feet, swoon a little and scream (occasionally), and show that this is what multi-culturalism and diversity looks like in the flesh – and is all the very better for it.

It’s a good yarn, well told for the most part, with good contemporary insights about social media and family and cultural relations – and provides some decent laughs too.

The dancing and the costumes are superb, the music very easy on the ear (both in Hindi and English) – perhaps not everyone would be convinced by the singing from all the characters, all the time (there may have been some issues with this particular sound system), but for many on stage, this is their first experience of musical theatre and it takes guts for many of these young actors to put themselves on that line and that has to be lauded and encouraged…how can anyone get better…? You need to read this

It’s all very endearing, a tad sentimental and really quite enjoyable…so instead of trotting along to your local multiplex for your customary Bollywood dose, buy yourself some theatre tickets, take ma and pa, or the kids (or all) and ‘Bring on the Bollywood’.
(Sailesh Ram)

‘Bring on the Bollywood’ Until Sunday at Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL
7.30pm (Saturday matinee, 2.30pm)

Continues on tour: Doncaster – Cast (May 31-June 2); Hornchurch, Essex, Queens Theatre (June 13-17); Poole – Lighthouse (June 29-July 1); North London (Finchley) Arts Depot – (July 6-8); York, Theatre Royal (July 11-15); Oldham – Oldham Coliseum Theatre (July 18-22); Cornwall – Cornwall Hall for Cornwall (August 1-5); Oxford – Oxford Playhouse (Aug 15-19); Peterborough – Vivacity Key Theatre (August 24-29).

Above pictures Nicola Young for Bring on the Bollywood


For times and more info, check individual theatres or


Some of the cast after last night’s press preview…

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture