The Bollywood film industry is a million dollar empire that has seen the likes of Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai grace many a screen. An aspirational career for many, hopefuls flock to the bright lights of Mumbai for the chance to gain their lucky break…

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Set in the heart of Mumbai, Toby Gough‘s vibrant and vivacious production follows Ayesha‘s struggle to uphold tradition, as she dreams of a career on the silver screen. Having been born into a dynasty of Bollywood greats, Ayesha leaves behind a world of traditional temple dances for the lavish world of Bollywood; much to the dislike of her father. Taking on the framework of a traditional Bollywood movie, The Merchants of Bollywood was an endearing homage to the all singing, all dancing dramatic art form. Carol Furtado‘s graceful yet sassy Ayesha was every inch the leading lady, a successful Bollywood director with a bright future ahead of her. Romi Jaspal‘s eccentric and flamboyant Tony Backshi served as the comic relief throughout the production, a Bollywood director representative of a new Bollywood, whilst Ayesha’s dreams of a more classical and traditional Bollywood were only but a distant memory. From the outset, Vaibhavi Merchant’s youthful and dynamic choreography performed by a chorus of 23 dancers uplifted and entertained, as theatrical choreographed routines decorated dramatic scenes. Together, both Merchant’s choreography and Faisal Sayed’s dazzling costume designs created the elaborate world of Bollywood. Merchant’s versatile choreography contrasted between the westernised routines of Bollywood movies fusing styles such as street dance and disco, to the more classical storytelling art form of Kathak.  Salim and Sulaiman Merchant‘s heart thumping, foot tapping musical score was a carnival of sound, a character all of its own. A party starting production with heart, The Merchants of Bollywood was boisterous, celebratory and loud. 4/5

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The Merchants of Bollywood is currently showing at The Peacock Theatre (Sadler’s Wells) until 15th Feb, for more info on the production click here…

Written by Theatrefullstop