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Sanjeev Bhaskar Plays Dumb in Penhall’s Show

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After making his musical theatre debut in Spamalot in 2008, Sanjeev Bhaskar will return to the stage in April to star in artistic director Stephen Unwin’s Rose Theatre, Kingston revival of Joe Penhall’s 2004 black comedy Dumb Show (See News, 15 Jan 2010).

Bhaskar, best known from TV’s The Kumars at No. 42 and Goodness Gracious Me, will play “‘Mr Saturday Night”, a TV comedian and presenter named Barry who is undone by celebrity culture in the new production, which also stars Dexter Fletcher and Emma Cunniffe and runs from 7 to 17 April 2010 (previews from 1 April).

Bhaskar’s other credits include the films The Guru and Anita and Me. While he’s on stage on one side of London, Bhaskar’s wife, frequent collaborator and Kumar co-star Meera Syal will be on stage across town playing the title role in a revival of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, running in rep at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 26 March to 8 May (See News, 12 Feb 2010).

In Dumb Show, premiered at the Royal Court in 2004 with a cast led by Douglas Hodge, Bhaskar’s Barry is obsessed with stardom and willing to go to extreme lengths to satisfy his craving for the celebrity lifestyle. When he’s propositioned by two bankers, his desperation overpowers sensible thinking and he finds himself in hot water.

Writer Joe Penhall's other plays include Some Voices and Blue/Orange, which won Evening Standard, Olivier and Critics’ Circle awards. His screenwriting credits include the acclaimed adaptations of Enduring Love and recent release The Road.

This is the first major London revival of Dumb Show, though fast on its heels is a touring production care of the Creative Cow company and director Amanda Knott, which launches a five-week tour from Tisbury in Wiltshire, also on 7 April. The second revival continues to Bath, Thame, Romsey, Salisbury, Crawley, Exeter, Guildford, Bracknell and Exmouth until 15 May.


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