Peacock Theatre, London – until 11 June 2016
The Merchants of Bollywood is a vibrant, energetic production that reflects the popularity of Bollywood films perfectly.
Visually spectacular, The Merchants of Bollywood is a true celebration of Bollywood and there is a sense of real pride in this industry and how it has developed and changed over the years.
As well as the wonderful choreography by Vaibhavi Merchant, which draws the audience even further into the story with its sense of storytelling, the production also features and extremely talented cast and dancers who you can’t take your eyes off from beginning to end.
Written and directed by Toby Gough, The Merchants of Bollywood has a straight forward story about Ayesha who rebels against the traditions of her family to go to Bollywood, only to realise that home is truly where the heart is. The plot adds some depth to the show, while at the same time providing details of Bollywood history as seen through the eyes of Shantilal, a former director of Bollywood films.
While the plot is strong enough not to distract from the fabulous dancing, there are some weaknesses in the script and some of the jokes included feel slightly flat. But despite this, it is clear that the audience are enthusiastic about what they are seeing, as the reception of every dance sequence was met with some of the loudest applauding I have ever heard.
Part of the reason that the audience is so enthusiastic is down to the sheer energy and strength of the dancers performances, carried out with plenty of joy but also sheer control and accuracy that it is stunning to witness. Merchant’s choreography effortlessly combines contemporary Bollywood with traditional elements to create something that is vibrant and refreshing.
The costumes are fabulously colourful and paired with stunning jewellery, add to the sense of glamour of the production overall. While everything from the costumes to the story seems over the top and might seem to get carried away – particularly during some of the scripted moments, it all adds to the charm of The Merchants of Bollywood.
It is a show that has been designed to impress and it certainly manages to do so in bucketloads. Well worth a visit to brighten up your evening!
The Merchants of Bollywood appears at the Peacock Theatre until the 11th June. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk.