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Belgrade Theatre review: Bombay Superstar

Bombay Superstar, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, to October 22.

Review by Heidi Barber

The term Bollywood originated in the 1970s when the Indian film industry overtook Hollywood to become the world’s largest film industry in terms of movies produced and released each year. Bombay Superstar is a new musical about love and betrayal in the golden age of Bollywood cinema and is set to a soundtrack of iconic Bollywood songs from the 70s and 80s.

The story, as with typical Bollywood films, features an evolving romance between the two main characters, Laila (Nisha Aaliya) a blooming starlet, and the dashing hero film star Sikhander (Rav Moore). Unfortunately, the path of true love for our starstruck lovers becomes blocked by numerous obstacles along the way, the main one being Sikhander’s wife Mala (Pia Sutaria).

Although the plot appears a little disjointed in the first half, the colourful, intricate costumes and vibrant and energetic dancing create the distinctive Bollywood atmosphere. Music is the heart of Indian films and subtitled translations of the song lyrics are helpfully displayed on a screen throughout the performance.

Despite the problems faced by Laila, there is a happy ending and this show, from creators Phizzical, continues to bring new perspectives to South Asian stories, challenging the status quo and gender stereotypes.

The cast of 12 bring the riot of colour, music, romance, and drama from the Bollywood big screen vividly to life on stage and the upbeat, lively music is infectious.

With more glitter than Strictly, dynamic Bhangra dancing and characteristic Indian music, Bombay Superstar will transport you to the streets of Bombay for the evening to sample the magic of Bollywood.

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