What’s it all about?
Billed as “not just a musical but a theatrical experience”, this should read with the emphasis firmly on “experience”. It’s a dizzying, exuberant and energetic showcasing of the incredibly skilled and downright visually gorgeous dance culture India has to offer, thrown together through the journey of one girl’s desire to rediscover her roots.
It’s a musical in the sense there is a storyline – following the untimely death of her mother, said girl is on a quest to save the theatre her late heroine so loved – but in truth the pantomime-inspired narrative is merely a carefree and light device to take audiences through a variety of different traditional and contemporary dance styles born in a country with a colour and vibrancy that sizzles when brought to the stage.
Who’s in it?
Ana Ilmi and Mohit Mathur lead as the romantic pairing at the centre of the story. Ilmi is endearing as a daughter intent on continuing her mother’s legacy, while Mathur has suitable swagger as an ambitious young choreographer hiding a secret explaining his ruthless lack of ethics. Support comes from Sudeep Modak as his comically idiotic assistant who could join Dumb and Dumber as Even Dumber, and Pooja Pant as the late mother who swooshes on and off stage in a cloud of dry ice.
Again, it’s really about their dancing skills and Ilmi and Mathur have it in spades. The production soars in big company numbers when the show successfully brings all the sparkle, drama, romance and passion of Bollywood to the London Palladium.
What should I look out for?
Seven men in sequinned hot pants and high heeled knee high boots performing It’s Raining Men. Yes, really.
In a nutshell?
Beyond Bollywood’s dance numbers bring all the sparkle, drama, romance and passion of Bollywood to the London Palladium.
What’s being said on Twitter?
@captain_kakkar Just watched BeyondBollywood @BeyondBolly with@iharoonrashid Absolutely loved it! Great job @salim_merchant @Sulaiman
@justdheeraj #BeyondBollywood @BeyondBolly really does take you on a colourful tour of #India! @PalladiumLondon @salim_merchant @Sulaiman
Will I like it?
Guests at the press night audience were transported to a world where it’s perfectly acceptable to break out into song – or at least lip sync to an addictive pop track – or stage an elaborate dance number to express your feelings. Who couldn’t support that?