Review: Beyond Bollywood

So I took my own advice and got out! If anything could make me feel better, Bollywood could. I had high hopes for Beyond Bollywood. I was looking forward to colour, dance and good times, and while Beyond Bollywood had this, the plot was ridiculous.

Shaily lives in Munich. She desperately wants to be a dancer, but her father wants to sell the theater they own, where her late mother was the star dancer, to turn it into a casino. Shaily decides to go to Mumbai for dance inspiration and falls in love with choregrapher Raghav who is trying to merge eastern and western dance. Shaily falls in love with traditional Indian dance. She decides to return to Munich — and you can pretty much guess what happens next …

I suppose it’s brave that the producers of Beyond Bollywood imported 45 dancers from India to London for this show. However, it doesn’t feel like these dancers (who lip sync) were ready for the West End’s largest theatre. I almost felt like I was watching a teenage dance recital, rather than professionals.

The show was much more enjoyable during the traditional Indian dances, rather than the gyrating hip hop ‘new’ ones. I’m not sure how these show was funded, but I can’t see it filling up the seats each night.

I was sitting near The Guardian’s theatre critic, and am rather amused by his review, especially the reference to the baby crying. India doesn’t have a huge amount of theater, so I can only assume that this attempt is just the beginning and the best is yet to come.