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Britain meets Bollywood in Tanika Gupta’s lively if unsatisfactory contribution to the World Stages season, in a collaboration between Sadler’s Wells, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Kneehigh.

Rina Fatania’s comic Bindi (a dumpling of a woman in a huge armchair) tunes in to her favourite daytime TV channel whilst her husband is out at work and immerses herself in the story of Sita, a runaway from Leeds who turns up at the East London dance club run by Sophiya Haque’s secretive, glamorous Soraya, a former mujra dancer with a hidden past who is determined not to give anyone – not even Delroy Atkinson’s obliging Cal – the chance to break her heart.

Bollywood glamour and East End reality collide to the accompaniment of a mix of movie tracks and Niraj Chag’s new music, and the dance styles are equally eclectic as the old is challenged by the new. Director Emma Rice’s directorial hand is particularly apparent when a puppet fox makes an all too brief appearance, but quite why Polish handyman Pavel sports a red Superman outfit as he sings from the scaffolding, or what purpose a pigeon cum angel serves as she wafts around the stage, I really don’t know.

The production can’t be faulted for its levels of energy or enthusiasm, but it wouldn’t have hurt to add a little more sophistication – and a stronger plot - to this colourful venture.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street WC2A 2HT
Tube | Holborn
Until 23rd June | £15-£42
sadlerswells.com


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Review: Wah! Wah! Girls, Peacock Theatre
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