Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of iconic British pop duo Pet Shop Boys have composed original music for the upcoming stage adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette, creating music to bring the 80s-set drama to life. The Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse co-production opens at Leicester Curve on 20 September 2019, running until 5 October..
Speaking about composing music for My Beautiful Laundrette, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe said:
“It’s wonderful to be part of the team bringing My Beautiful Laundrette from the screen to the stage and we’ve enjoyed writing mainly instrumental music to be presented within a British Asian context.”
Curve chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said: “It is a testament to the extraordinary world and characters Hanif has created, that Neil and Chris have come on board to compose music for our autumn drama. As the Pet Shop Boys, Tennant and Lowe have created some of the greatest pop tunes ever written and we are thrilled they are bringing their astonishing talents to this production. Alongside our tremendous acting company and design team led by Grace Smart, it’s shaping up to be a very exciting project!”
Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his Uncle’s run-down launderette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them. This culture clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism, sprinkled with magic and joy running through the rich veins of Kureishi’s writing.
Playing the role of Omar in this new play is Omar Malik (East is East, Nottingham Playhouse); Jonny Fines (An Officer and a Gentleman at Curve) will play rebellious punk Johnny. Gordon Warnecke, who originally played Omar in Stephen Frears’ 1985 film, joins this new cast as Papa, Omar’s Father.
The cast is completed by Paddy Daly, Kammy Darweish, Hareet Deol, Nicole Jebeli, Balvinder Sopal and Cathy Tyson.
After the Curve dates, this bold new production of Kureishi’s Oscar-nominated screenplay continues to Everyman Theatre Cheltenham (8-12 October), Leeds Playhouse (15 -26 October), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (29 October-2 November) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (5-9 November).
Director Nikolai Foster is joined in the creative team by designer Grace Smart, lighting designer Ben Cracknell, sound designer Tom Marshall, fight director Kevin McCurdy, and casting director Kay Magson CDG.
Since their first record release in 1984, Pet Shop Boys have sold over 50 million records worldwide. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are also known for their theatre music, including original stage musical Closer to Heaven and the ballet The Most Incredible Thing, a collaboration with choreographer Javier de Frutos produced by Sadler’s Wells. This summer at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Pet Shop Boys will present the world premiere of MUSIK, a new cabaret show with a script by Jonathan Harvey.