Theatre review: ‘Stardust’ (at Belgrade Theatre)

1187 attended the performance of ‘Stardust’ earlier this week. Packed with plenty of drama and suspense, ‘Stardust’ will take you on an emotional roller-coaster that you won’t forget.

The show offers a refreshing take on a love story, and explores everything from friendship, trust, betrayal and reincarnation. The production has been created by the South Asian performing arts company Phizzical, spearheaded by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Samir Bhamra.

The story is about YouTube sensation Amar (Robby Khela), a talented British Asian pop and R&B singer, aspiring to make it big in the mainstream music industry. His mother, Sheila (Natalyia Roni) doubles-up as his manager and devotes her life to make her son’s dreams a reality. Then there is Seth (Aizaac Sidhu), a gay activist and the love of his life. Their relationship was very heartfelt and endearing to watch. While the story focuses on Amar’s journey to stardom, it also highlights the trials and tribulations faced in gay relationships within the South Asian community, often a difficult subject to talk about.

It would be wrong not to praise the rest of the cast for their individual performances. Sophie Kandola essays the ghost of Amor, a successful Bollywood singer in the late 1980s murdered by her estranged husband and music producer Cyrus (Christoph L. Dorocant), who played the perfect antagonist. His predatory nature touched upon the dark side of the entertainment industry, especially in recent times of the #MeToo movement.

Harriette Mullen had a double role within the story, on one hand she wowed the audience with her powerful vocal chords as the next emerging pop artist Tara, but also impressed the audience as Dr Constance Mullen, Amar’s psychotherapist.

Fans of the popular TV soap ‘Hollyoaks’ will welcome Amanda Chapman who plays the glamorous Delante, a strong-headed business woman who runs her own music label.

The embellished costumes, the original peppy songs and amazing choreography to match, definitely made this a perfect evening of entertainment, all condensed within 2.5 hours. The show promises unexpected twists and turns that will leave you wanting more. The pièce de résistance has to be the Bollywood number from ‘Jab We Met’ (2007) – ‘Mauja Hi Mauja’, which made you want to get on your feet and dance!

Bhamra and Khan have to be applauded for putting together a masterpiece that has never been done before.

There is still time to catch ‘Stardust’, showing at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, until the 21st September 2019.

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