Musical REVIEW: Bring on the Bollywood ★★★

Bring on The Bollywood
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Monday 25th April 2015

Even though I have seen so many shows I have been unable to count the past few years, there is one style of theatre or dance that I have the least education on, and this is Bollywood, both the acting and dancing, and I feel like this may be due to the simple fact that that sort of culture is not shown in the UK, but when I watched Bend It Like Beckham, with all the dancing included in that, I loved it, so when I saw that Bring on the Bollywood was in Coventry, I didn't hesitate to buy a ticket on the day and head down to see what was in store.

Now what was in store was a 2hr and 45 minute journey that followed Bollywood Actor Amit (Rishi Nair) and Ronny (Adam Samuel-Bal), his cousin, in a search for love, with Amit pretending to be a Bollywood director, so that he could win the appraisal of his love of his life Rekha’s (Nikkita Chadha) parents, Colonel Sunder (Rohit Gokani) and Lalita (Sakuntala Ramanee) Pawar, but the complication lies when Rekha is set to marry Lucky (Bhavin Bhatt), though he isn't in love with Rekha, but has been arranged by her parent’s.

Now at the start of the play we meet Katrina (Sohm Kapila), the daughter of the Pawars, who is a doctor in London, though her mother Lalita has never been fond of her daughters path. Katrina soon falls in love with Ronny during his stay with his cousin, but he never shows his feelings towards her, until his wife, Deepika (Rasheeda Ali), who he has not spoken to in months, unexpectedly shows up and tries to ruin the trip for the boys.

I will stop there in terms of the plot, as going any further will spoil the rest of the production, but I honestly thoroughly enjoyed this production when it got up on it’s feet and ran with the action, which I must say took some time to get into within the first act, and also I found myself really enjoying the music in the show, as even though some songs were not sung in English, I felt myself completely immersed in their singing so much that it felt like I fully understand the emotion and the sense of what the characters were feeling at the time.

If there was one aspect that let the production down though, I would have to say that the scene changes were slow at times, with stage management constantly bounding on to replace and fill the stage with props for the next scene, which at times I felt to be distracting. Now I fully can take some judgement off this considering it was the second or third performance of this brand new show, so it may still need to feel comfortable, but If the stage hands were to least wearing some Bollywood clothing to mix in with the crowds, I would very much have preferred to see that then some, at times, clumsy transformations that really felt like I was just watching a show, and not being hooked completely on the story, almost breaking the sense of realism that I see so often in theatre these days.

Overall, Bring on the Bollywood was a real enjoyable evening at the theatre, which helped me educate myself more on the culture of Bollywood, and had me smiling throughout, as the characters seemed genuine, and the dance routines slick and precise!


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