RASHEEDA STARS IN WEST END SPOTLIGHT
IT IS a renowned Asian theatre. With all the romance, tragedy and heartbreak of Romeo and Juliet, Ishq The Musi- cal: Legend of Heer and Ranjhaa has a special place on the stage. Now, an actress from Wales s has taken the lead role of Heer – the equivalent of Juliet – in the show in London’s West t End. Rasheeda Ali, 26, born in n Merthyr Tydfil and brought upp in Bridgend, is living her dreamm after years of training in actingg school. Rasheeda said: “The story holds the same place in literature in Asia as Romeo and Juliet does in the West. “We performed on one of London’s most prominent stages – Sadler’s Wells. “It was my first time playing a lead role and I was so excited about it.” As far as Rasheeda is aware, it was the first time the show had been performed in English in the UK. It was put into production to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence. As Rasheeda is of mixed race, she is really passionate about merging cultures and bringing two very important parts of her life together. She said: “I often think being mixed race makes it harder for role in someone to stereotype.
“For example, I’ve never been to Pakistan but I’ve only ever been to one British wedding.
“So my idea of a typical wedding, for example, is different.
“But then I was born and bred in Wales.”
Rasheeda was a member of Bridgend Youth Theatre and trained at Gorseinon College Performing Arts sixth form before training professionally at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s drama school, ArtsEd.
It was here that Rasheeda was really able to develop her skills fit into a cultural and, afterwards, she bagged herself an agent who helps her get regular auditions. But, at the heart of her passion f for acting, is a love for old H Hollywood movies.
Her mum used to watch old films when she was growing up and she became fond of muchlovedlo classics starring actors suchsu as Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.S
“I love to work in Wales when I get the opportunity,” added Rasheeda.R
“It means I get to spend time withw my family and friends.
“But I’ve been involved in someso exciting projects elsewhere too.to
“After I graduated I was asked to appear in a few Bollywood films,film but I wasn’t trained as a BollywoodBo dancer so I had to taketak lessons.
“Since learning the dance I’ve been in about three or four Bollywood films.”
Rasheeda was able to learn a lot about the industry when she filmed on bigger sets.
She explained the Bollywood industry is very different to the theatre as, in Asia, the film and music industries are more closely linked.
If she filmed for a movie, she often ended up in a music video because the songs are so wellliked.
Even though Rasheeda’s busy week of performances have come to an end, she hopes Wales will get to see a lot more of her on stage in the future.
Welsh actress Rasheeda Ali