21 June 2014
Reviewed by Musarrat Khan
Presented by NLP Theatre and in association with www.worldcurryfestival.com ‘How To Make a Killing in Bollywood’ tells the story of two friends who leave their mundane jobs in order to pursue fame and fortune in the razzmatazz film industry of Mumbai aka Bollywood. This musical successfully combines comedy and drama, as the main characters manoeuvre their way through challenges thrown at them as second generation Asian Scottish citizens.
Yanick Ghanty (Raza Khan) and Umar Ahmed (Gurjit) provide an excellent performance as the main characters. The play humorously portrays the stigma the two friends experience from their Glaswegian South Asian community and the prejudices from the theatre and film industry. Tired of their mundane soul destroying menial jobs and deflated by typecasting and stereotypes, the two friends set off in an ambitious adventure into unknown territory, in order to fulfil unrealised potential. However, not all is as it seems and the characters are thrown into a change in dynamics as they encounter challenges to their friendship and their naivety in relation to Bollywood is soon shattered. Raza befriends a sex worker called Varsha played by the gorgeous and talented Storm-Skyler-McClure. Adam Buksh provides an excellent performance as he adapts quickly and effectively to various characters that interplay with the main characters’ journey.
This lively play engages the audience in emotionally charged themes, upbeat familiar Bollywood songs, and spectacular and beautifully choreographed dance routines. The energy of the dance routines can only be fully appreciated with live performances such as this. This play is a must for Bollywood fans and those who appreciate fine theatre. The poetic descriptions of India gave the audience an insight into the incongruence of the chaos and magical allure of the land, which held hope of success for the two friends. The ironic ending leaves the audience with a greater understanding of what it means to make a killing in Bollywood.
The play was staged at The Studio at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford and had a matinee and a later showing in the evening. It’s suitability for young children is questionable given the verbal obscenities and perhaps should come with a warning for parents. The Studio is situated in Bradford City Centre, with excellent public transport links. Bradford is a culturally rich City and hosts some of the best curry houses in Britain, which make it an especially good night out. I drove to Bradford and was able to access street parking a short walk away from the theatre. The theatre staff were friendly and helpful.
Overall, it was a lovely experience and highly recommended.
The Studio, Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | Box Office 01274 432000