Review: Emotion among the glitter in Bollywood-meets-Bard spectacular

Nick Le Mesurier reviews Bring on the Bollywood at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, presented by Phizzical in association with Belgrade Theatre Company

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2016, 11:19 am
The show tells a tale of enduring love. Picture: Nicola Young

Bring on the Bollywood is a spectacular musical that combines Shakespearean style rom-com with Bollywood bling. There is more than a nod to Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer. This is a tale of enduring love, set in a magical place where old India meets new, though not altogether comfortably.

It is a marvellous spectacle of high emotions, and is both bold and intricate in its execution. The goal which the characters are all seeking is a good marriage. But what is that: is it what the parents want, or the children?

At the heart of this lovely show is Lalita Pawar (Sakuntala Ramanee), scheming matriarch and professional matchmaker. She can fix anyone’s marriage, except that of her daughter, Dr Katrina Pawar (Sohm Kapila).

No, scrub that Dr business. That’s not important. What matters to both her and her mother is that she finds the right man.

The men on hand, however, are not quite so handy as they would wish, and they come with baggage – an ex-wife who is supposed to be dead, and a reputation that is not as golden as it looks. But never mind. The increasingly tangled love knots will soon unravel, and all will be well.

For all its glitter I found myself genuinely moved by the plight of the lovers.

The lights, the costumes, the colours, the wonderful dance routines would be nothing without some real feeling, a strong storyline and some fine acting.

Spring is making a chilly start this year, so warm yourself by the side of this gorgeous show.

* Bring on the Bollywood runs until Saturday. Call 024 7655 3055 to book.