Bollywood returns in English

November 27th, 2011

This article is more than 13 years old.


Fusing rich and colourful Indian Bollywood scenes with the harsh, sterile setting of a Danish hospital, the story of a delusional ‘Bollywood star’ unfolds in The Bollywood Trip, which after a successful seven- and-a-half week run in Danish, will now conclude with five shows in English next week.

Described as a reinterpretation of One Flew Over the CuckooÂ’s Nest, The Bollywood Trip is a love story told via musical comedy that takes the audience through the vast

range of human emotions as felt by the deranged star, Haroon. The performance fuses Bollywood dancing and Danish humour – a tactic not often seen on the Denmark stages.

“Our starting point is a Danish, dry, dogma culture that we slowly start to drip a Bollywood universe into,” Parminder Singh, who wrote the script, told Politiken newspaper. Award winning stage director Rolf Heim has joined forces with one of the leading modern Kathak choreographers, British-Indian Gauri Sharma Tripathi, to stage Singh’s work, while musician and composer Stephan Grabowski and his band perform the live accompanying music.

The story begins with Haroon, played by Janus Nabil Bakrawi, ending up in a psychiatric ward in Denmark, under the belief that he is Bollywood’s biggest star. His doctors, however, have a different idea and think he suffers from megalomania and delusions of grandeur. They prescribe him therapy and heavy medication and, following a recommendation from Morten Staugaard’s pompous character, electroshock treatment to bring Haroon crashing back to reality. The larger-than-life, identity-less likeable lead commands the audience’s attention with his booming voice and provocative dance moves as the viewers learn what demons hide behind his vibrant façade as he dodges treatment and tells his story.

Meant to tackle the drama of hiding true feelings, The Bollywood Trip contrasts Haroon’s overt sexuality with the shy romantic feelings that resident psychiatrist Jens, played by Thomas Corneliussen, has for his beautiful co- worker, played by Laura Müller.

The play is unique in the fact that it employs an international cast with Indian dancers and exotic backing instruments, making the overall feel of the performance much more authentic and believable. Bakrawi himself is a Danish-Indian man able to identify with his characterÂ’s feelings of identity crisis.

Overall, as Bakrawi and company periodically burst into song and dance, The Bollywood Trip is refreshingly fun while parading the contradictions of west versus east, medicine versus love, crazy versus normal, and fixation versus liberation.

The Bollywood Trip

Republique, Østerfælled Torv 37, Cph Ø; English language version starts Tuesday, ends Dec 3, performances Tue-Fri Dec 2 at 20:00, Sat Dec 3 15:00; tickets 200-325kr, billet@republique.dk, 7020 1031; 150 mins with intermission; www.republique.dk


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