Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

** Disappointingly ropey Indian musical

Teamwork Films have set out to pastiche the Bollywood movie onstage, but I'm afraid they're just not good enough.

In Edinburgh Fringe terms in general, there's nothing wrong with this piece. But put it on the main stage of the Traverse Theatre, the most prestigious venue in Scotland, and it becomes horribly over-exposed. The limited acting and dancing abilities of the young company cannot be turned into part of the fun: their pacing drags dreadfully at times. The same goes for the dialogue and plotting of Sohaila Kapur, sister of film director Shakhar Kapur: she's a first-time playwright, and it shows. And it's all very well projecting footage from Bollywood movies on to the backdrop during the playback musical numbers, but it would help if the footage bore more than a tenuous relation to the events being acted out.

Much of the company's set and some of their costumes have been delayed in transit to Edinburgh, but to be honest, such misfortune does not begin to account for the shortcomings of the production. If enthusiasm translated directly into talent, the company would have no problems. But it doesn't, and they do.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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