Published on April 29th, 2010 | by Denny Armatrading2
Britain’s Got Bhangra – Review
Vibrant, colourful, hilarious, emotional and with instantly catchy songs make this show a must see for everyone.
My favourite theatre production so far this year.
April 28th 7:30pm, Rifco Arts Presents Britain’s Got Bhangra.
I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to my attending and the laborious rush hour drive across London to reach the Theatre Royal in Stratford didn’t add to my excitement prior to the show.
My prior knowledge of Rifco Arts was limited to rehearsal videos on youtube and snippets of reviews from national papers of past productions. Though these were all positive, I still was not prepared for what a spectacular show was awaiting me.
When the curtains went up and the production began you could sense you were in for a treat. Within seconds your ears are blessed with the first song as the actors and set design drew you in.
As the play goes on there is much to appreciate from the clever use of props to the excellent costume design and choreography.
One of my initial concerns prior to watching this production was the fact that it was a Punjabi production and wondered would it appeal to me?
This fear was quickly squashed. The story telling and acting is such that for the few parts (mainly songs) that was in Punjabi you could easily understand what was being said.
The premise of the show is very easy to relate to. Trying to find your place whether it be in society or life. Many of us have at some point asked our selves what is our purpose.
This is done with a nice twist, and that twist is Bhangra.
Minus very few small things (which can easily be missed), no one would be mistaken for thinking this was a full on west end production.
Catchy songs that not only fuse Bhangra with R&B, as is very common nowadays, but also the blend of Punjabi singing and instruments with soulful live music and lyrics that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jools Holland showcase.
All the songs are immediately catchy such that some wouldn’t seem out of place in a Disney cartoon.
The production deals with a few taboo issues in the Asian community but doesn’t get political or try to take a high moral ground in any way and makes this splendid production all the more pleasurable.
The title is clearly playing on a brand we all know, and bhangra may not be everyones taste in music. That is not what this is about. Britain’s got Bhangra is about Asian culture in Britain over the last 30 years, told in a hilarious way that is accessible to all, and is a laugh a minute, emotional rollercoaster that is truly standard ovation stuff.
BGB is my current favourite theatre production off West-end.
5/5 *off west-end/broadway
Theatre Royal Stratford East, London 17th April – 16th May
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry 24th May – 6th June
Oxford Playhouse 7th -12th June
Watford Palace Theatre 15th -19th June
The Lowry, Salford Quays 21st -26th June
Theatre Royal Windsor 28th June- 3rd July
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds 12th -17th Jul
You can book tickets directly from the Rifco Arts website
and by clicking here