Is There a Shortage of British-Asian Actors???
Date: 21 October 2002
Bollywood hasn't just conquered the cinema, it's taking over the stage as well, which was evident this summer - to anyone not hiding under a rock - with the huge hype surrounding Bombay Dreams. The musical, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber with music by Hindi composer AR Rahman, opened at the West End's Apollo Victoria on 19 June 2002 and, despite mixed reviews, has proved a box office hit, with a booking period now extended up to March 2003. That success doesn't mean it's all plane sailing from here, though. According to a report earlier this month in the Evening Standard, the production - heading to Broadway while still bent on longevity in the West End - is running into casting problems for its 42-strong, mainly British-Asian company: there simply aren't enough suitably skilled performers. The problem can only be exacerbated with the RSC's upcoming stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Indian epic Midnight's Children, which has just held a press launch (See News, 21 Oct 2002) to announce its 20-strong mainly British-Asian cast. And there are no doubt more subcontinent-facing shows to come. Lloyd Webber has said he's now looking abroad to fulfil his casting requirements. Let's hope Equity don't prove sticklers.
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