Big budget Bollywood dance-theatre extravaganza, Bring On The Bollywood is set to make a star of a newcomer who beat hundreds at auditions to land a leading role.
Nisha Aaliya was plucked from dozens of auditionees to play the show’s fiery heroine, Katrina Pawar. She will star alongside a dynamic cast of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars.
The East meets West musical comedy is set to bring the explosive colour, vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage.
Bring On The Bollywood is a love letter to traditional Bollywood. Samir Bhamra, its director, said of Nisha’s casting: “Andrew Lloyd Webber has rightly slammed the lack of diversity in musical theatre but, for me, the lack of opportunities for young British Asian performers goes much deeper.
“I discovered our perfect heroine, Nisha, by chance when she attended our auditions as a choreographic assistant. By urging her to audition herself, we have unearthed an exceptional acting talent for Bring On The Bollywood.
“However, like the majority of young South Asian performers, her only outlets for professional showcasing have been the Bollywood dance competitions.
“Without clearly defined pathways, formal training, and a diversity of roles, such talents can surely only rely on the chance few musicals that focus on Asian culture for a route into the West End.”
Having lived in London for 14 years, Dr Katrina Pawar is summoned to her ancestral home, the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa, for her younger brother’s wedding.
Sensing an opportunity to finally make a match for their last unmarried child during the festivities, Katrina’s parents search for a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter.
As the good-looking Bollywood film director Amit arrives at Lakshman Villa, along with his newly eligible British personal assistant Ronny, Katrina must navigate the true course of love between East and West.
Joining Nisha is Avita Jay, whose theatre credits include: Spare (New Diorama Theatre), Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World (Southwark Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre), Rapunzel (Park Theatre) and Silent Sisters (Hawth Theatre).
Anthony Sahota will play the part of Katrina’s mischievous, betrothed brother, Lucky. Having recently starred as a finalist on Gary Barlow’s Let It Shine (BBC One), Anthony makes his professional acting debut alongside Robby Khela.
Robby Khela’s work in music has seen him support pop acts such as Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour.
He re-joins Phizzical Productions for Bring On The Bollywood, having previously appeared in their previous national tour of What You Fancy (2007), a Bollywood adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night.
FULL CAST:Nisha Aaliya, Yanick Ghanty, Anthony Sahota, Avita Jay, Robby Khela, Rohit Gokani, Sophie Kandola, Sakuntala Ramanee, Subhash Viman, Jo Bispham, Mithun Gill, Raheem Mir, Emiko Ishii and Kesha Raithatha.
2017 UK Tour
May 6–13, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry May 16-20, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich May 25-28, Rose Theatre, Kingston May 31-June 2, Cast, Doncaster June 13-17, Queens Theatre, Hornchurch June 29-July 1, Lighthouse, Poole July 6-8, artsdepot, London July 11-15, Theatre Royal, York July 18-22, Oldham Coliseum Theatre August 1-5, Hall for Cornwall August 15-19, Oxford Playhouse August 24-26, Vivacity Peterborough