This weekend, Sunday 15 December (8.00pm), four numbers from the show - "Chhaiya, Chhaiya", "The Journey Home", "Shakalaka Baby" and "Love's Never Easy" - will be screened on BBC1 as part of this year's Royal Variety Show. The last song - which is sung by leading lady Preeya Kalidas, who's been nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical - will be released as a single in February 2003.
Bombay Dreams represents an unusual departure for Lloyd Webber. Although he conceived the new work, along with filmmaker Shekhar Kapur who co-produces, it does not feature any of his music. Instead, it is scored by young Indian composer A R Rahman, who has composed the music for more than 50 Hindi films and who Lloyd Webber has lauded as "one of the most exciting young composers of our time".
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?
In addition to Best Actress in a Musical, Bombay Dreams has received four other Whatsonstage.com Award nominations: Best New Musical, Best Supporting Performance in a Musical (Raj Ghatak who plays Sweetie), Best Director (Steven Pimlott) and Best Choreographer (Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan).
The musical has a book by British actress, comedian and novelist Meera Syal, and English song lyrics by Don Black. It's designed by Mark Thompson, with musical supervision is by Christopher Nightingale. The 42-strong cast also includes Raza Jaffrey (Akaash), Ayesha Dharker (Rani), Shelley King (Kitty), Raad Rawi (JK), Dalip Tahil (Madan) and Ramon Tikaram (Vikram).
- by Terri Paddock