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Review of Bring on the Bollywood at the Rose Theatre Kingston

Bring on the Bollywood. Photo by Nicola Young (l-r) Nisha Aaliya, Emiko Jane Ishii, Raheem Mir, Mithun Gill, Subhash
Bring on the Bollywood. Photo by Nicola Young (l-r) Nisha Aaliya, Emiko Jane Ishii, Raheem Mir, Mithun Gill, Subhash

Bring on the Bollywood, a ‘musical extravaganza’ is the story of Dr Katrina Pawar (Nisha Aaliya) who goes to India for her younger brother’s wedding. The apparently fiery, smart and intelligent Dr Pawar is tasked with figuring out how to stop the marriage of Lucky Pawar. Lucky, played by Anthony Sahota, is quite childish and is pampered by his mother, whilst Dr Pawar is besotted with ‘Yash Uncle’, one the most successful directors for Bollywood romantic movies.

As expected with any Bollywood story there is romance, only there is more than the normal love triangle here and of course, there is some making up ‘over a masala tea’. Oh, and there is a dead wife, who may not be so dead. In fact, I remember someone questioning how a ‘dead wife looks so alive’.

The stage set was a bit boring and not the normal glitzy and sparkly set that you would associate with Bollywood. There were varying types of different beautiful Indian outfits, not in your face glamourous or exceptionally exquisite, but they were pleasing to the eye. There were churidars, lenghas, kurtas and pyjamas, and saris, which were all worn appropriately and according to the scenes and dances.

There was the typical Yash Chopra Bollywood movie style dancing, Bhangra, Gharbar dancing, some classical dancing and a few western dance steps thrown in too. Individually the dancers performed very well, full of energy, and some great choreographed moves but then again I just love Bollywood dancing, so maybe I am a bit biased.

This play is packed with lots of humour and one-liners, some that most people would understand like ‘he fell in curry powder and went into a korma’, obviously said with an Indian accent, so korma being a coma. Then there were lines that not everyone would quite understand…. ‘Sharukh eloped with Kajal in DDLJ’ comes to mind. If one had some knowledge of the main Bollywood movies, one would realise that DDLJ refers to the movie, Diwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, a Bollywood Blockbuster. And movie references continue throughout the play.

Bring on the Bollywood is jammed with music, costumes, comedy, singing, dancing and romance, which is a real treat for a Bollywood lover such as me. I can, on the other hand, appreciate how one with little knowledge and understanding of the Hindi language and culture may be left quite confused at times, especially as there are number of lines in Hindi. This probably explains the confused looks I saw on some peoples’ faces, but is the target audience the general public or is it British Asians? A great production for a Bollywood lover!

4 stars

Review by Shaidi Ramsurrun

The masters of Bollywood experiences, Phizzical debut at the Rose with Bring on the Bollywood – a romantic comedy that features a fantastic soundtrack interwoven with wit, wild parties and some wicked dances.

City and country, old and new collide at Colonel Pawar’s ancestral home – the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa. Confined within these walls, his wife Mrs Pawar pines for the cultural polish of London, New York or Paris!

Enter the dashing Bollywood actor Amit and his newly eligible cousin Ronny – a quiet and withdrawn young British man who is here to scatter the ashes of his love. The Pawars have found a potential suitor to their fun and intelligent daughter Dr Katrina Pawar, who is brave, bubbly and in complete control, until she learns of her parents’ intentions. What could possibly go wrong?

Festooned in a kaleidoscope of colourful costumes and melodious music, Bring on the Bollywood is a glitzy theatrical experience inspired by real stories of love and infused with the works of Oliver Goldsmith and William Shakespeare.

Best Theatre Award finalist at Asian Media Awards in association with ITV.
Running time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes including a 20 minute interval.

Bring on the Bollywood
Thu 25 May – Sun 28 May 2017


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