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Belgrade B2 Theatre review: Stardust

Stardust, Belgrade B2, to Sept 21. Having never seen a Bollywood musical, I was intrigued to see first-hand what makes it so successful, and this show - billed as a romantic, pop, R&B and Bollywood musical thriller -did not disappoint.

And as the first South Asian theatre production to feature same-sex relationships, it marks a first for the British stage. In the opening scenes we are introduced to wannabe pop star, Amar (Robby Khela), his over-ambitious mother Sheila (Nataylia Roni), and his lover, Seth (Aizaac Sidhu). Amar is troubled by apparitions which turn out to be of Amor (Sophie Kandola), the murdered wife of music mogul Cyrus (Christoph L. Dorocant).

It becomes clear that Cyrus is a dodgy character with few morals and many secrets, and his new girlfriend, music promotor Delante (Amanda Clapham, best known as Holly Cunningham in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks) becomes another of his victims.

The production deals sensitively with homosexuality in Asian families and is perfectly suited to the intimate B2 atmosphere. The second half duet, Unashamed, performed by Amar and Sheila, is one of the more memorable, emotional and melodious ballads. There are also many upbeat, pulsating dance numbers in true Bollywood style.

With a strong supporting cast, Stardust is performed by the South Asian performing arts company Phizzical which specialises in producing and commissioning classical, contemporary and popular arts influenced by Asian, Arabic and African cultures. And this emotionally charged and thought-provoking production is well worth seeing.

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