An actress as well as a writer, Syal is best known for her television performances in the likes of The Kumars at No 42, Goodness Gracious Me, Fat Friends and All About Me. She’s previously appeared on the West End stage in The Vagina Monologues.
In Bombay Dreams, young slum-dweller Akaash dreams of becoming a huge star in Bollywood, the £750 million Indian industry that produces and internationally distributes some 600 films a year. His encounter with beautiful Priya and her father, a corrupt movie mogul, sets him on his way. But is Akaash willing to pay the price of fame? And can his and Priya's love survive?
The current cast also features Stephen Rahman-Hughes (as Akaash), Zehra Naqvi (Priya), Ravin J Ganatra (Madan), Munir Khairdin (Vikram), Royce Ullah (JK), Raj Ghatak (Sweetie) and Sophiya Haque (Rani). Bombay Dreams has music by AR Rahman, with English song lyrics by Don Black and is directed by Steven Pimlott, choreographed by Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan, and designed by Mark Thompson.
The musical, which is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, premiered on 19 June 2002 (previews from 31 May) at the Apollo Victoria, and has now been seen by over a million people in London. A separate Broadway production will open in April 2004.
- by Terri Paddock