We will be looking in more detail at these plays in reviews and interviews soon…
by Suman Bhuchar
AH, THE LOVELY vibes of September, plan your social calendar anew as a lot of British South Asian led cultural theatre is coming up from with shows ranging from transpositions (moving a well-known story in time and place) to musicals, and there is something to please the discerning theatre loving Asian culture vulture!
🎭First up is ‘Stardust’ a new musical by Phizzical Productions, which premieres at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry for this week only.
Phizzical brought us the much loved ‘Bring on the Bollywood’ in 2017 to much acclaim and this tale of romance and reincarnation, set against the backdrop of the music industry, is written by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Samir Bhamra (who also directs), this new work has caused much excitement.
Featuring original songs by Robby Khela (who appears as Amar) and pulsating dance numbers, choreographed by Dr. Leena Patel, this Asian bold musical thriller tackles #MeToo, toxic masculinity homophobia and patriarchy, so get your sequins out, put on your dancing shoes and get yourself to Coventry and not miss out! Other cast include: Sophie Kandola, Amanda Clapham, Christoph L. Dorocant, Harriette Mullen, Nataylia Roni and Aizaac Sidhu.
▶️From Saturday, September 14-21 September 2019 (evenings 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinee 2.30pm show is 2 hours 10 mins plus interval)
Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Corporation St, Coventry CV1 1GS
Coventry Box Office: 024 7655 3055
Tickets from £13.50 – £22.00 🔸@Phizzical | @Belgradetheatre | http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/stardust
🎭 ‘Mushy: Lyrically Speaking’ is a new musical co-produced by those purveyors of populism, Rifco Theatre Company and Watford Palace Theatre.
It tells the true story of Musharaf Asghar, a young student featured in the Channel 4 documentary series, ‘Educating Yorkshire’ (2013), who endeared himself to audiences due to his stammer, but then was helped by an inspirational teacher, Matthew Burton to overcome it.
‘Mushy: Lyrically Speaking’ recounts this known story of a young man struggling against the odds to find his voice… and coping with overnight fame.
This three hander features actor, Varun Raj as Mushy, Madhavi Patel as Mushy’s mum, Ammi and Oliver Longstaff and his teacher. It also marks the directorial debut of Ameet Chana (Sunrise DJ and ‘Bend it Like Beckham‘), and is written by Pravesh Kumar (artistic director of Rifco) with rap music from Raxster and other music composed by Arun Ghosh.
The show opened at Watford Palace and is currently on tour until October 12. ▶️ Until September 22 (Sunday) at The Curve, Slough, William St, Slough SL1 1XY
▶️ October 1-5: Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin St, Dalston, London E8 3DL
🔸@RifcoTheatre | @WatfordPalace | The Curve Slough
🎭 Meanwhile the queen of transpositions, Tanika Gupta has done it again this time locating, Henrik Ibsen’s play, ‘A Doll’s House’ into 19th century Calcutta with the ever fabulous, Anjana Vasan (whom we last saw in Vinay Patel’s ‘An Adventure’) playing the role of Nora, now Niru. It is directed by Rachel O’Riordan who makes her directorial debut as artistic director at the Lyric Hammersmith. ‘A Doll’s House’ explores gender politics through the story of a married woman who finds emancipation and independence when she realises that her husband treats her as a ‘doll’ or ‘plaything’ and that he doesn’t really love her… no spoiler alert here, so she has to choose between society’s expectations and her own identity. Go see it for the inter-racial politics, great cast and fabulous live music by Arun Ghosh who has also composed the music for this show too!
Performances run until 05 October and Ticket prices range from £10 – £42. The show is 2 hour 30 mins including interval
▶️ Until October 5: The Lyric Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, Hammersmith, London W6 0QL
🔸@LyricHammer | Lyric Theatre |
🎭 While we’re talking Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright – he also seems to have also inspired Indian writer, Anupama Chandrasekhar, who has been inspired by his play, ‘Ghosts’ to create a new piece, ‘When the Crows Visit’.
Ibsen’s play described as a “scathing commentary on 19th century morality” dealt with issues of morality, incest, patriarchy and euthanasia and Chandrasekhar’s play is inspired by true-events in modern day India looking at the nature of oppression. The brief storyline says “when a son returns home after being accused of a violent crime, a mother is forced to confront the ghosts of her past when the crows visit”. It features a great cast including Ayesha Dharker and Asif Khan. This world premiere is directed by Indhu Rubasingham, who also directed two earlier plays of Chandrasekhar, ‘Free Outgoing’ (2007), and ‘Disconnect’ (2010) both at the Royal Court. She describes her as “the most important voice coming out of India and it is a real privilege to be directing and producing her new play here at Kiln Theatre.”
This is bound to be a hot ticket so grab your now!
▶️ From October 23-November 30: The Kiln, 269 Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, London NW6 7JR Captioned performance: 21 November
Audio Described performance: 14 November
Box office: 020 7 328 1000 🔸Kiln Theatre | @KilnTheatre |
🎭 Meanwhile at the Curve, Leicester, we are about to witness an exciting adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s,1985 Oscar nominated film, ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ as it bursts on stage in a script by the author himself adapted from his screenplay.
The show is a co-production between the Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse with music by the Pet Shop Boys.
Omar Malik will play ‘Omar’ and Jonny Fines, the rebellious punk, ‘Johnny’ and Gordon Warnecke who played Omar in the film will play Omar’s wise but alcoholic father on the stage. The show will be directed by Nikolai Foster, artistic director of the Curve and will open September 20 (tomorrow) and the tour nationally (See below for theatres)
Set during Thatcher’s Britain, ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ tells the story of Omar who takes a rundown launderette and transforms it into a successful business while falling in love with Johnny, a racist punk.
▶️ Until October 5 – The Curve, 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB
7.15pm Box Office: 0116 242 3495
Tickets £10 – £22. Performance time not known
🔸 @CurveLeicester | @Hanif Kureishi | The Curve Theatre, Leicester
▶️ Other cities the play is visiting:
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham (October 8-12), Leeds Playhouse (October 15-26), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (October 29 – November 2) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (November 5-9).
So, lots to choose from but do check the age guidance and show times and enjoy wisely.