We were in for a real treat last night at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, where a one night only show of over two hours of nostalgia in “50 Years of Bollywood” was jammed in…and the crowd begged for more! With Ash King and Jonita Ghandi singing live and belting out some golden oldies to present day tunes with east and west fusions, what could possibly go wrong?
I always say Bollywood movies are like football; the second half is always better! The main problem was the sound quality; this let the main singers down. Once this was eventually rectified, Ash and Jonita were able to showcase their melodious voices. This was followed closely by the fact the show attempted to actually tell a love story, amidst what was ordinarily a concert. Finally, the transitions between acts left the stage empty, in silence or even worse, with the host, Terry Mardi, wondering what was happening back stage and even popping back at one point.
There was no real explanation as to what to expect, so we naturally assumed that we were in for a treat from Ash and Jonitha, as they meander their way through the tunes of five decades of Bollywood hits. However this was not the case; the fabulous ‘Absolute Bollywwod Dancers‘ performed for a long time, albeit to a high standard consistently, exhibiting fantastic energy and tight well rehearsed choreography, before there was any sign of a singer. The dancers facial expressions projected emotion in line with the lyrics and the costumes were eye catching, specifically the male costumes (or lack of). The lead male, Vincent De Lima’s six pack kept us focused, along with the superb selection of 86 top Bollywood hits performed in acts of classical, item songs, festival, love songs and wedding hits complete with dhol players.
It is clear a lot of effort and hard work went into the production, but like any production, with a few more runs, the transitions would become smoother and would give the director an indication of what to omit and adjust according to the running time and crowd reaction.
I am a theater lover so my expectations are high, but the crowd last night got what they came for; a trip down memory lane and five decades of songs, that bought tears laughter and love, combined with some fantastic dance moves.
It was a pleasant surprise to find a goody bag on every seat, with the event being sponsored by Vitabiotics; apparent as the Apollo was bursting with energy! I walked with my goody bag ready to take the vitamins and dance the next decade away!
Ms Safirah Irani
Ms Sabah Raza