The successful Asian touring company, Tamasha Theatre, brings two productions to London and the Lyric Hammersmith this autumn - a premiere of a new piece by ex-Eastender Deepak Verma and a return for its hit Bollywood musical, Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral.

Verma's Ghostdancing transplants Emile Zola's classic story of passion and despair, Therese Raquin, to a small town in the Punjab. Small town clerk Raj marries his cousin Rani, but their relationship is frustrating and unfulfilling. When an old school friend of Raj's arrives, Rani starts an affair with the visitor - an all-consuming passion that drives the lovers to murder and misery.

Ghostdancing features Parminder Nagra, star of the Bollywood film Bend It Like Beckham, Shami Aulakh, Simon Nagra and Sameena Zehra. It is directed by Tamasha's joint artistic director Kristine Landon-Smith, designed by Sue Mayes and presented in association with Leicester Haymarket Theatre. After four weeks at the Lyric's Studio Theatre (10 October to 3 November), Ghostdancing moves to Leicester for a brief run from 6 to 10 November 2001.

The new dates for Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral - from 19 September to 3 November 2001 - mark its third run at the Lyric where it has smashed box office records. The musical is adapted from the Bollywood film Hum Apke Hain Koun. The cast for this run includes the return of leads Pushbinder Channi and Mala Ghedia, as well as ex-Eastender sisters Geeta and Meena, otherwise known as actresses Shobu Kapoor and Sudha Bhuchar.

Adapted by Bhuchar (also joint artistic director of Tamasha), Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral is again directed by Landon-Smith and designed by Sue Mayes, with lighting by Paul Taylor, sound by Mike Furness, musical direction by Barrie Bignold, and English lyrics by Shaun McCarthy and Felix Cross.

Over the past twelve years, Tamasha Theatre has built a reputation for bringing the best of Asian drama to UK audiences. Artistic directors Landon-Smith and Bhuchar have been responsible for commissioning the Ayub Khan Din's East Is East, subsequently made into a successful film, and the popular Balti Kings, which delved into the rich world of the Birmingham curry house.

- by Terri Paddock


WIN TICKETS!! - You can win one of 20 pairs of tickets to Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral by entering our competition in Prizes & Offers. Competition ends 20 September 2001. To enter, click here.