Bollywood play hits jackpot in South Africa
THRILL, colour and energy are what people can expect when they watch the celebrated Indian drama A Passage to Bollywood.
Showing at the Joburg Theatre from today until July 9, the play will be making its debut in Africa.
Acclaimed choreographer Ashley Lobo said the production would be nothing short of a classic Bollywood tale.
“The only difference is that it will be on stage. It’s like seeing a live film on stage. The dancing and music and the whole surreal understanding that Bollywood brings across.
“More than anything people are going to catch the energy and the drama of Bollywood,” said Lobo, who is also the artistic director and choreographer of the show.
The production lasts for an hour-and-a-half, unlike the typical films that tend to go on for much longer. Lobo said the show, from conception to execution, took three months to put together.
A Passage to Bollywood tells the story of a young village boy who moves to the big city of Mumbai to follow his dream. The production will also showcase the artistry of Indian folk dance.
“We brought it to South Africa because the country is similar to India. They are both developing countries and the nature of the people is similar.
“We are both family oriented, emotional, full of dance and music. I think music and dance becomes the celebration of aspiration in both countries.”
Lobo said he has already started to feel the love in SA.
“I was in the hotel and told people we were here for a Bollywood production, and they started calling familiar names like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
“And it’s funny because I have worked with both these people. They are known in SA so I think we have hit the jackpot into the right place,” he said.
Lobo said South Africans knew a lot about actors in Bollywood and would appreciate the show.
“The show is full of colour and light and costumes and music and dance, which is very similar to Africa.
“So I think the people will connect immediately. The story is very human.”
Tickets to the show range from R160 to R350 and performances are from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm and 3pm on Sundays.
COLOURFUL DISPLAY: ‘A Passage to Bollywood’ will be showing at the Joburg Theatre from today until July 9.
PRODUCTION: Acclaimed choreographer Ashley Lobo.