Box Office 01708 443333 | General Enquiries info@queens-theatre.co.uk

About

About

Press Releases and reviews

For all media enquiries including requests for review and competition tickets, production images, interviews and further information about our news stories, please contact:

Press Officer Rachel Pottle
01708 462376
rachel@queens-theatre.co.uk

Click here for details about our current production including run dates, cast, creatives as well any available reviews, photos and trailers. And click here for all the latest news at the Queen’s.

Press releases

There are currently no press releases available

Bring on the Bollywood

The brand new musical extravaganza, Bring on the Bollywood transports audiences into a festival of colour and Bollywood magic from 13 – 17 June at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

This romantic comedy brings the vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage. Featuring a fantastic soundtrack interwoven with wit, wild parties and some wicked dances, it’s a glitzy theatrical experience inspired by real stories of love.

The cast is led by a dynamic mix of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars including Anthony Sahota, who appeared on Gary Barlow’s Let It Shine (BBC) earlier this year and Robby Khela who has supported Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour.

The story follows the fiery Dr. Katrina Pawar who is summoned from London to her ancestral home for her younger brother’s wedding. Her parents sense an opportunity to search for a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter. As the good-looking Bollywood film director Amit arrives, along with his newly eligible British personal assistant Ronny, Katrina must navigate the true course of love between East and West.

This energetic, feel-good production is a must-see spectacular the whole family can enjoy.

The show could be described as a modern-day day Arabian Nights with all its colour and flair and sharp wit. It’s musical theatre as never seen before and audiences in Hornchurch seem to be loving it. One would have thought it would be a huge pull to the Asian population of Havering? Not so. The audience during last night’s packed performance was predominantly white British, which is interesting.

The growing love between Dr. Katrina and Ronny is a bit like the Rose and Jack relationship in James Cameron’s movie ‘Titanic’, and there’s even a musical nod to it in Phizzical Productions vibrant, contemporary extravaganza that blends song, dance, and romance against the colourful backdrop of the Hiindi movie industry. All of the actors, dancers, writers, costume and set designers, musicians, and choreographers, deserve much praise. Robby Khela, who plays the unassuming Ronny Kapoor, and Nisha Aaliya as Dr. Katrina Pawar steal the show however. Their duets together are simply amazing. Robby, having penned some of the songs, shows another side to his truly amazing talent. A contemporary family show with no rude words or smut, but with plenty of humour to please. Watch out too for the brilliant cliffhanger at the end of the first act before the interval. There is smoke, haze, and strobe lighting. Another winner for the Queen’s 10/10.

Gateway FM

Bring on the Bollywood

★★★★

A colourful tribute to the Bollywood genre, this big-hearted show explodes onto the Hornchurch stage in a riot of song and dance, gorgeous costumes and songs from the big screen. A little bit camp, a little bit kitsch, but great uncomplicated fun from the title song to the wedding finale.

The setting is simple – stylised Himalayas for a backdrop, and a suggestion in front of Lakshman Villa, the comfortable family haveli in warm colours. There are many scenes, involving the shifting of trucks and some awkward fades to black, but the story moves along almost seamlessly.

Like many jukebox musicals, the plot is secondary to the numbers. Here we have a typical romance, borrowing cleverly from She Stoops to Conquer, in which there is conflict between the old ways and the new, India and the UK, the big city and the quiet life up-country.

Katrina (Nisha Aaliya) is an over-worked doctor in the UK. She’s flying back to her roots in India for her brother’s wedding. Across the aisle sits Ronny (Robby Khela), on a pilgrimage of his own. We sense, as they do, that their paths will cross again.

But Katrina’s mother is anxious to fix her up with “a suitable boy”, and little brother Lucky – the Tony Lumpkin of this version, played by Anthony Sahota – has biceps to die for and issues of his own as the plot unfolds.

But it’s not really about the story. Both the writing and the acting are often little more than adequate. As Katrina reminds us, Bollywood is 100% escapism, the sort of thing that movies used to do, back in the day that La La Land sought to recapture. There are fine comic performances from Sakuntala Ramanee as the match-making mother, and Rohit Gokani as the crusty whisky-drinking Colonel. Nice work, too, from the trio of house-servants, and Yanick Ghanty as Amit, the film star with the London accent.

It’s all about the exuberant song and dance – Khela particularly impressive in his numbers. And what a variety there is, from the pumping bass of the opener to the almost operatic temple scene, and the traditional puppet dance up on the roof.

It would be nice to have some live music, maybe even one or two actor/musicians, but the glitzy staging and the feel-good fairy-tale will certainly please the Essex fans as it has Coventry and Doncaster – this tour takes its final bow in Peterborough at the end of August.

Reviews Hub

Bring on the Bollywood

A colourful spectacular, with music, love, laughs, and dance, that’s Bring on the Bollywood at the Queen's Theatre.

This romantic comedy brings the vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage. Featuring a fantastic soundtrack interwoven with wit, wild parties and some wicked dances, it’s a glitzy theatrical experience inspired by real stories of love and much appreciated by the audience.

The cast is led by a dynamic mix of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars including Anthony Sahota, who appeared on Gary Barlow’s Let It Shine (BBC) earlier this year and Robby Khela who has supported Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour.

The story follows the fiery Dr. Katrina Pawar who is summoned from London to her ancestral home for her younger brother’s wedding. Her parents sense an opportunity to search for a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter. As the good-looking Bollywood film director Amit arrives, along with his newly eligible British personal assistant Ronny, Katrina must navigate the true course of love between East and West.

The set, costumes, lighting and dancing were a feast for the eyes. The energetic cast put in some very good performances, and together with the music, we were transported away for a couple of hours of pure escapism. Just what Bollywood is supposed to do!

This feel-good production is a must-see spectacular the whole family can enjoy.

Bring on the Bollywood runs at the Queen’s Theatre from 13 – 17 June. Tickets are £16.50 – £28 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, in person at the theatre or online at queens-theatre.co.uk.

Phoenix FM

Educating Rita

★★★★

Educating Rita is a delightfully exhilarating story of a bright, lively woman’s unbreakable determination to get an education through a literature course with the Open University. Rita is a twenty four year old hairdresser in her everyday life, but is doggedly determined to become better educated, what ever it takes.

She has been assigned a tutor by the Open University, Frank, who is a curmudgeonly middle aged university professor, full of self loathing after years of underachieving. Frank dreams of being a great poet, but his ambitions go no further than dreaming about it and drowning his sorrows in alcohol.

Rita is a bright, effervescent, garrulous, young woman who longs to be able to converse with the other students in the University, on a serious intellectual level, and, unlike her tutor, she is determined to do so. Can they help each other? Can Rita achieve her wonderfully modest ambition, and can Frank be inspired to give up the booze in order to and attain his monumental goal? Throughout the story, despite ups and downs and occasional arguments, they, quite tenderly, support each other.

The whole play takes place in Frank’s untidy office, where every bookshelf hides a bottle of whiskey tucked behind a learned tomb. The set is excellent, never too untidy, but just what you might expect from a dusty old academic. Between scenes we are treated to a short piece of the best of eighties pop music, while the stage is in complete darkness.

Danielle Flett, who plays Rita is wonderful. Unlike every other production, at least that I have heard of, she plays Rita as a cockney not a Liverpudlian, but the play still works brilliantly. I suppose that people’s aspirations don’t really have geographic boundaries. Danielle is an experienced actress in many West End productions including The Monkey at Theatre 503 and Dr. Faustus at The Duke of Yorks Theatre, in both of which, I can happily attest, she was excellent.

Ruairi Conaghan plays Frank to a tee, he is a cantankerous and self obsessed man who thinks of his self as a dismal failure. Although never explicitly mentioned, it is clear that he falls in love with the much younger Rita. An educated man with all too human failings. Ruairi has appeared in countless West End plays including Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre and very many more. He was excellent and supremely believable.

As for the writer, Willy Russell, what can you say? He has more awards than can possibly be listed here. He has written the play Shirley Valentine, the musical Blood Brothers, a novel The Wrong Boy and so much more. Educating Rita was however his first and arguably best work.

The story is wonderfully rounded, and the relationship between the two characters becomes charmingly affectionate without ever turning physical. Willy Russell’s dialogue is funny, sharp and somehow true. The very last sentence of the play, hilariously uttered by Rita, is funny, touching and uplifting. It is a fitting finish to this masterpiece of modern writing.

Westend Wilma

Educating Rita

Rita is a working class hairdresser determined to better herself with higher education. On joining an Open University English Literature course Rita is assigned to Frank, a whisky loving frustrated well read professor tired of academic life.

This two handed play, brilliantly executed by Danielle Flett and Ruairi Conaghan incites the audience into the world of education and its premise of choice. As the two characters share this path with each other, both their minds are broadened, as it is so for the spectator too.

Rita enters the Professor’s chandelier lit study, cluttered with books and papers, nerves spurring constant chatter, expressing eagerness and hunger to learn – EVERYTHING. Wanting to escape the humdrum of her life, feeling education will improve her. Frank grudgingly accepts the challenge and in the process her enthusiasm revitalising his. Frank in fact sees Rita’s enthusiasm as a great asset “What you already have is valuable”.

In this version Danielle portrays Rita as an Essex girl as to the original Liverpudlian, perhaps so we will resonate more, however Danielle’s interpretation of a insecure and cheeky Rita is easy enough to warm too, enhanced by a comical scene of her practicing being well spoken. Indeed you feel proud as she finds her way, to quote her “If you want to change you’ve got to do it on the inside”.
On the other side of the table is Frank, who when Rita first starts, she thinks his ‘well cool’ being educated and enjoying his drink, as he fumbles around the bookshelf behind the likes of Blake, Forster, Yeats, Chekhov and Shakespeare for his hidden whisky bottles. His an amicable, constructively comprised enough drunk as he encourages Rita’s learning.

The second half of the show with a change to florescent lighting in Franks study, shows time has moved on with Rita returning form Summer school, passing her exams and comfortably taking her place with the educated visiting a rather drunker Frank. This scene is superbly and humorously portrayed by Ruairi as he staggers around explaining his been forced to take sabbatical to Australia.

Is Frank really a worse drunk though? Or is the emphasis just a clever way of portraying how a now educated Rita, who sees a great lecturer in Frank, is more self-confident and suddenly more aware how he is also a desperate drunk in need of their camaraderie just as much to inspire him to re-evaluate his life choices.

A superb, mindful, motivating comedy and a lesson well worth enjoying.

Enquirer

Leave a review:

Numeric out of 5

 

You may also be interested in…

Keep in touch

Let’s have a chat! Our social pages are brimming with all the latest Queen’s Theatre goings on!

Subscribe to our newsletter

WordPress theme development by whois: Andy White