A new stage adaptation of David Baddiel’s hit comedy movie The Infidel gets the go-ahead following a successful crowd-funding campaign.
Theatre Royal Stratford East and Producer Arvind Ethan David have announced today that The Infidel – The Musical is to be staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East in the autumn of 2014. The announcement follows a successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, with members of the public pledging £55,110, enabling the production to get the go-ahead. The production will run from Friday 3 October to Sunday 2nd November 2014 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, with tickets on sale from midday today, Monday 28th April 2014 at www.stratfordeast.com.
Based on the British hit film comedy, The Infidel – The Musical will feature book and lyrics by David Baddiel, with further material by Arvind Ethan David and music by Erran Baron Cohen. The show will be co-directed by David Baddiel and Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Artistic Director, Kerry Michael.
The Infidel – The Musical is an original stage musical-comedy that follows in the tradition of such subversive musicals as The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q and Spamalot. The show tells the story of an ordinary British Muslim man, Mahmoud Nassir, who discovers that he is adopted and, worse, his birth parents were Jewish! The resulting cultural and religious chaos leads to an uproarious and insightful comedy of identity, race, prejudice and confusion.
Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “We’re very pleased that members of the public got behind our campaign to stage this exciting new musical version of David Baddiel’s The Infidel. We’ve been supporting the development of this production over the past eighteen months and it’s evolved to be a funny, edgy and courageous show, which I have no doubt will be a joy to watch.”
David Baddiel, writer and Co-Director of the show said “I always had a hunch that this story could be a musical – it always seemed as if there were moments in it where it would make more sense for the characters to burst into song – and so I went and wrote some songs with the incredibly talented Erran Baron-Cohen to see if that hunch was correct. It turns out it was – there is a musical in there, a piece that draws on musicals about race and religion both old and new, the lovechild – we hope – of Fiddler On The Roof and The Book of Mormon (with a bit of Bombay Dreams thrown in); and I’m very excited that we’ve now got the go-ahead (for which I deeply thank those good members of the public who helped us through Kickstarter) to see that lovechild take its first steps into song, dance and comedy at Theatre Royal Stratford East.”
Arvind Ethan David, producer of both the original movie and the musical added: “It’s fantastic to be partnered with Theatre Royal Stratford East – they’ve been enormously supportive through the development process, and David, Erran and I are all looking forward to making the show a reality on their stage. When we were financing the film, people said that you weren’t allowed to make a comedy about Muslims. It turns out that was wrong in every medium.”
Theatre Royal Stratford East is one the UK’s most prolific producers of new musicals and is committed to programming for young and diverse audiences. The Infidel – The Musical is a just addition to this enterprising programme. The theatre has a vision to break new ground with musicals that bring contemporary and urban music into the mainstream of British theatre. Most recently this has included Oh What a Lovely War, the Off-West-End award-winning Glasgow Girls (with National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, Pachamama Productions and Merrigong Theatre Company, Australia), Wah! Wah! Girls (with Sadler’s Wells and Kneehigh), Reasons to be Cheerful (with Graeae Theatre Company and New Wolsey Theatre) and Britain’s Got Bhangra (with Rifco Arts & Warwick Arts Centre).
The Kickstarter Campaign was launched in March 2014 with a deadline of 15 April 2014. The campaign achieved its target two days ahead of the deadline, securing a total of £55,110 of public support. Those who contributed were able to choose from a wide range of rewards, ranging from free downloaded tracks from the show and tickets to see the show, to having their own personalised song written for them by Erran Baron Cohen or a limousine trip to enjoy the opening night at the theatre.
The Infidel – The Musical will run from Friday 3 October to Sunday 2 November. Performances Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm. Matinees from 18 October on Wednesdays at 2pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm (there are no matinee performances first two weeks of the run 3 to 17 October).
Tickets start from £7 to £24, with concessions available for all performances. Group discount available: 10 for 9 (full price seats only). To book tickets call the Box Office on 020 8534 0310, visit www.stratfordeast.com or book in person at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN.
Monday 28th April 2014