Asian Music and Dance

Bring on the Bollywood

B ring on the Bollywood is two and a half hours of phenomenal dancing, a witty script, beautiful choreography, and average singing and lyrics that let down what could have been a powerful soundtrack. Nevertheless, it’s great fun to watch. 

The show started with the title track and its painfully clichéd lyrics. All that song really has going for it is that it’s incredibly catchy and people may find themselves singing it the next day, even if they don’t want to. However, what stood out in both the first song, and pretty much throughout the entire show, was the ensemble. Each dancer shone in technical brilliance. I found myself constantly looking forward to each song, just so I could watch them dance. Their performances in Prem Leela, choreographed by Subhash Viman, and Satyam Shivam Sundaram, choreographed by Sonia Sabri, stood out and they did full justice to the choreography. The dancers looked a little stiff in Daru, but that whole song just felt a little awkward to watch, mainly due to the song itself, which was average at best.

Kesha Raithatha and Subhash Viman are as usual unstoppable; two class performers with impressive stage presence. Mention must be given to ‘Shahrukh the servant’ played by Subhash, as his character and execution was comical genius. Raheem Mir’s natural flair made him a delight to watch, and Mithun Gill, Emiko Ishii and Jo Bispham’s unbeatable energy and strength reflect their years of classical training and experience. To indulge a little further, their little fillers between each scene added some absolute gold to the show. In particular Emiko, Raheem and Subhash as servants making fun of the colonel and his wife, and Kesha and Raheem as bitchy aunties at a wedding, giggling to ‘whiskey aur pooch pooch’ remain my favourite moments of the show.

The story is gripping and very well written. The script has some wonderful comic moments, the actors hit each punch line with ease and everyone looked comfortable on stage, even though they constantly slipped in and out of their accent choices, which unfortunately distracted from some well-developed character dynamics. 

Sakuntala Ramanee as Lalita Pawar dominates the show. Her grip over the script and dedication to her character allow her to shine above the rest. The relationship between Ronny Kapoor and Katrina Pawar, played by Robby Khela and Nisha Aaliya, felt a little unconvincing but Nisha portrays her character’s rather endearing obsession with Bollywood beautifully and is a pleasure to watch. It’s always comforting to hear a well-trained voice, and that’s what Robby gave us with his rendition of Rabba, which he sang effortlessly.

Anthony Sahota as Lucky Pawar was as charming as his bicep flashing and pelvic thrusting. He played his character of a spoilt brat with confidence and commitment, and yet somehow remained one of the most likeable characters in the show. Yanick Ghanty played Amit Kapoor and was great fun to watch on stage; his relationship with Rekha, who was played by Sophie Kandola, was as sweet as ever and only a reminder of the quintessential ‘Bollywood’ style of the show: how if you open your mind and allow the actors to be as cheesy as the show wants to be, you’ll only enjoy each and love the story more. 

Even though, like every quintessential Bollywood movie, the play lasted a little too long, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit. From Shahrukh the servant following Lucky with bells, to Katrina Pawar getting tipsy on the plane, the gorgeous set and costumes made it an evening well spent, and I found myself and everyone else walking out smiling and satisfied. 



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