Laila The Musical
Laila - The Musical
Rifco present a new musical which is funny, charming and sweet.
If you are a big fan of shows like Bombay Dreams, Bend It Like Beckham and the work of Gurinder Chadha, Laila – the Musical is filled with enough sugar and spice, to tempt you.
British Asian theatre company Rifco made the hit show Britain’s Got Bhangra and here, they present a Persian tale with a Bollywood kick. Laila is the princess and she meets a boy Qays - who is from a poorer family.
These star crossed lovers continue to see one another even though their families do not approve. You have seen this before in everything from Romeo and Juliet, Dallas (the Barnes and Ewings) and Moulin Rouge. But, here Pravesh Kumar delivers an enticing and exciting musical, which is well performed by everyone involved.
At times, Dougal Irvine’s lyrics may have the odd clunky line, but there is something melodic at the centre and you will find yourself humming the songs on the tram home. Libby Watson’s set design is interesting, as this is not a big budget piece, yet she manages to keep the onus on the lovers, using just sheets.
Mona Goodwin as Laila is in good voice and she is centre stage throughout, and she holds her own very well. Reece Bahia plays her young lover and he draws you into the narrative, particularly during act two, when he has more to do.
Kush Khanna and Sheena Patel make a great double act, and they both have superb comic timing. And Shin Singh Parwana is quite beguiling, every time he sings. Each actor has the ability to tell a story through song and they remain convincing the whole time.
There are cheesy moments and the odd unintentionally funny line ‘Don’t enter my chamber’ but there is something special here, because Rifco represent faces we rarely we see on stage. Not only that, they deliver an efficient and moving musical, which does not rely on pyrotechnics in place of heart.
I loved it!
By Glenn Meads for Canal St Online
Laila is at the Lowry until 4 June.Details are here and to book.