Bombay-Style Twelfth Night Opens in London Aug. 26

News   Bombay-Style Twelfth Night Opens in London Aug. 26
Saris and shakalakas may seem less the stuff of Shakespeare than of Bombay Dreams, but Stephen Beresford’s new production of Twelfth Night sweeps the Illyrian setting east to contemporary India. The show opens Aug. 26 at London’s Albery Theatre.
Promotional art for Twelfth Night
Promotional art for Twelfth Night

Beresford sees India as the closest contemporary location to Shakespeare’s London, according to a press release, which says, “Honor codes, the rules of marriage, holy men, beliefs and the significance of festival find a fresh relevance in this recognizable and engaging world.” This marks Beresford’s West End directorial debut, though he’s previously appeared as an actor in the National Theatre’s stagings of Laughing Matter and She Stoops to Conquer. He is also currently writing a television series for the UK’s Channel Four. The cast includes Paul Bhattacharjee as Malvolio, Raaghav Chanana as Sebastian, Neha Dubey as Olivia, Kulvinder Ghir as Feste, Raza Jaffrey as Orsino, Paul Bazely as Aguecheek, Shereen Martineau as Viola, Shiv Grewal as Toby Belch, Harvey Virdi as Maria, Sagar Arya as Antonio, Amarjit Bassan as Valentine, Neil D’Souza as Fabian, Amit Shah as Curio, Joanna Burnett as Olivia’s servant and Kish Sharma as the priest. Though many of the cast, such as Kulvinder Ghir (from TV’s “Goodness Gracious Me”), Raza Jaffrey (who created Akaash in Bombay Dreams) and Bollywood actress Neha Dubey (“Monsoon Wedding”) are known, 21-year-old Chanana was picked at an open audition in Delhi.

Jonathan Fensom supplies the set designs, with lighting design from Jason Taylor and sound design from Fergus O’Hare. Original music is composed by Sara Dhillon. The producers are Background (the group behind Journey’s End at the Playhouse and the Old Vic Hamlet) in association with Tara Arts and Lee Menzies.

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