Bend it like Beckham Musical
Phoenix Theater, London
Bend It Like Beckham The Musical is written by Paul Mayeda Berges & Gurinder Chadha, with music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart.
A British musical adapted from the film of the same name which was released in 2002 has come to the west end in 2015, with previews showings from May. The press night is due around June 28th (TBC).
Credit has to go to Gurinder Chadha for her creative writing and directorial debut for the theatrical stage.
Bend It Like Beckham Musical is a tale about a young British Asian girl who is torn between her dreams and her tradition. Jaswinder (Jess) (Natalie Dew) is football crazy and is friended by Jules (Lauren Samuels ), encouraged to join the local all-girls football team ‘The Harriers’ lead by coach Joe (Jamie Campbell Bower ). Jess’s parents Mr & Mrs Bhamra (Tony Jayawardena & Natasha Jayetileke ) have other ideas of how their daughter should be raised. They opposed to her playing football as it is not lady like nor culturally accepted.
Exploring many dilemmas faced by British Asians, the musical very cleverly deals with issues such as gender /self-discovery, acceptance and traditional values that clashes with Asians today.
I was kicking with excitement and couldn’t wait to get my tickets (I almost didn’t!!) With just 3 minutes to the curtains raising the attendant at the box office broke the news to me that I was two days too early ! ‘Nahee’ I thought but managed to get seats for last night’s show…my sisters and I ran up to the upper circle before Kick Off, settling down into our seats.
‘What family would want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking football all day but can’t make round chapattis?’
No yellow cards in the first half of the show and definitely no red cards in the second half.
I have to say Mr Bhamra was excellent – I loved his voice, he sang amazingly. The other person that stood out for me was one of the ensemble from the ‘Harriers’ Genesis Lynea her whole presence was noticeable, the dancing, the projection was very delightful.
It is a musical for sure as I sometimes got the feeling that the dialogue was compensated by another song but once I embraced that notion I was grinning from ear to ear. Preeya Kalidas (Pinky) – who was in the original film, belted out some songs – she was in her element, on stage.
For a good family night out this is one musical that will lift your spirits!
Ms Safirah Irani
Phoenix Theater London