Georgina Harrington Hague enjoys an evening of colour and catchy tunes

What: Frankie Goes to Bollywood

Where: HOME Theatre 

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval) 

Tickets: From £11.20. Available to purchase here

HOME says: Frankie Goes to Bollywood is a breathtakingly colourful journey of romance, epic songs, and spectacular dance – inspired by real stories of British women caught in the spotlight of the biggest film industry in the world.

Frankie never wanted to be a star, and after a chance encounter with a director, she finds herself transported to the ruthless world of Bollywood. As she climbs the sparkling staircase of stardom, Frankie must confront what she is willing to do for fame and fortune. Can she stay in the Bollywood family and still be true to herself?

Amidst the heroes and villains, ornate costumes and sweeping sets, get ready for this tale of being British in Bollywood.

2024 05 17 Frankie Bollywood 2
Frankie Goes to Bollywood Image: HOME

What we say

From the creators of Britain’s Got Bhangra comes this world premiere that stands out in the crowded musical genre. Thankfully, this production is not another jukebox musical recycling pop hits. Instead, Frankie Goes to Bollywood offers original music and a fresh narrative that resonates with audiences.

In the opening act, we meet Frankie (played by Laila Zaidi) and her best friend Goldy (Katie Stasi). Frankie’s late mother had once dreamed of Bollywood stardom, a dream that fuels Frankie’s fascination with Bollywood films. When a Bollywood producer (Navin Kundra) arrives in the UK searching for his next star, he discovers the reluctant yet talented Frankie.

We are then transported to the vibrant yet cutthroat world of Bollywood, featuring standout characters like Raju King (Shakil Hussain), Maa (Helen K Wint), and Shona (Gigi Zahir). Each character, driven by their own motives, seeks to influence Frankie’s path to stardom.

2024 05 17 Frankie Bollywood 1
Frankie Goes to Bollywood Image: HOME

For a small production, the staging is ambitious, capturing the essence of Bollywood with simple yet dazzling effects. The only minor critique is that Laila Zaidi’s powerful voice occasionally overpowered the production, suggesting a need for better sound balance. In a larger venue, this issue would likely resolve itself.

The musical numbers are infectious, leaving you singing as you exit the theatre. The vibrant, colourful staging and brilliant cast contribute to an energetic and engaging performance.

The second half addresses serious issues facing women in India today, yet maintains the playful, comic book-like humour that runs throughout the show.

Frankie Goes to Bollywood is a joyous production that deserves a broader audience. 

It’s a show that could easily expand into larger theatres, with the potential for grander Bollywood dance numbers and an even bigger chorus – this is not a reflection on the fantastic HOME theatre, I’m just excited that this small production could go on to a wider tour, I could even imagine it being adapted into a feature film, rivalling the likes of Mama Mia, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie and The Greatest Days.

The show is running until May 25, and this production is well worth the ticket price.

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