Bend It Like Beckham The Musical recently extended booking at the Phoenix Theatre to 5th March 2016 when the show will then play its final performance at the end of the cast’s year-long contract. Rehearsals began for the critically acclaimed production in March 2015 with a company led by Natalie Dew as Jess and Lauren Samuels as Jules. The producers are currently finalising both national and international touring offers including a tour of India visiting multiple stadia.
Bend It Like Beckham The Musical is directed by Gurinder Chadha, with original music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart, new book by Paul Mayeda Berges & Gurinder Chadha; choreography and musical staging by Aletta Collins; set design by Miriam Buether; costume design by Katrina Lindsay; lighting design by Neil Austin; sound design by Richard Brooker; musical direction by Nigel Lilley and orchestrations by Howard Goodall & Kuljit Bhamra.
Gurinder Chadha said: “I am incredibly proud of the Bend It Like Beckham cast, musicians, production and creative teams. We opened at the Phoenix Theatre to the most amazing five star reviews and we’ve inspired and entertained people of all ages and all backgrounds, something I have not seen in the West End for many years. I set out to tell our stories from my perspective of our multicultural London. Our show celebrates all of us on stage and behind the scenes, something myself and the team worked so well together to realise. From the responses I have received since we opened there is a genuine hunger for to us to tell our story internationally so as well as planning a UK tour for the show, we are now working on expanding the production for a proposed tour of India to include multiple stadia. Whether in the UK or abroad, Bend It Like Beckham will continue to defy expectations and proudly represent and celebrate the UK we all know and love.”
As well as topping Time Out’s Best West End Musical poll, Bend It Like Beckham The Musical was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical and Natalie Dew was shortlisted for the Evening Standard’s Newcomer in a Musical Award. Bend It Like Beckham The Musical won the Best Stage Production at the Asian Media Awards which took place earlier this year. Lauren Samuels is nominated for this year’s What’s On Stage Best Supporting Actress in a Musical award and Bend It Like Beckham is nominated for Best New Musical.
The cast is led by Natalie Dew (Jess) with Lauren Samuels (Jules), Jamie Muscato (Joe), Sophie-Louise Dann (Paula), Jamal Andréas (Tony), Preeya Kalidas (Pinky), Tony Jayawardena (Mr Bhamra) and Natasha Jayetileke (Mrs Bhamra).
Sohm Kapila, Buckso Dhillon-Woolley and Harveen Mann play Aunties, Irvine Iqbal and Karl Seth play Uncles, with Sejal Keshwala, Serina Mathew and Sharan Phull as Cousins. Rakesh Boury, Jorell Coiffic-Kamall, Tom Millen, Daniel Bolton play footballers, with Teetu played by Raj Bajaj. The Harriers are played by Michelle Bishop, Lisa Bridge, Chloe Chambers, Genesis Lynea, Kayleigh McKnight, Leanne Pinder, Kirstie Skivington and Danielle Young. Rekha Sawhney and Shahid Khan are the production’s Indian Heritage Singers.
Bend It Like Beckham The Musical is a celebratory fusion of culture, music, emotions and fun, bursting with warmth, humour and heart. Jess needs extra time. She is facing the most important decision of her life: live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenager is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of unexpected opportunities opens up before her. But as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, can she keep her family happy and still follow her dreams?
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP