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Friday, 31 May, 2002, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Curtain goes up on Bombay Dreams
Actress Preeya Kalidas with (l-r) Lloyd Webber, composer AR Rahman and actor Raza Jaffrey
Lloyd Webber shows off his Bombay team
Andrew Lloyd Webber's ambitious musical based on the spectacular style of Bollywood movies opens in the West End on Friday.

Bombay Dreams, which begins a run of preview performances, marks a departure for the musical impresario following the closure of two of his biggest hits, Cats and Starlight Express.

Drawing on inspiration from the colourful and energetic Bollywood genre, Lord Lloyd-Webber has created a love story set in the Indian movie industry.

He collaborated with director Shekhar Kapur, the man behind the Oscar-winning Elizabeth, Bollywood composer AR Rahman and writer and comedian Meera Syal to create what he believes is a show that will boost the West End.

Preeya Kalidas and Raza Jaffrey are the stars of the show
Preeya Kalidas and Raza Jaffrey are the stars of the show
Bombay Dreams tells the story of a Bollywood film director's daughter, played by 21-year-old Preeya Kalidas.

Her character falls in love with a boy from the slums, played by Raza Jaffrey, who has appeared in Mamma Mia and TV soap EastEnders.

Composer Rahman's previous work includes Fiza, Bombay and the Oscar-nominated Lagaan, which achieved incredible box office success in the UK.

'Shot in the arm'

Its success spelled a new beginning for the popularity of Bollywood films.

"In Rahman I met someone who I believe could carry the torch of musical theatre into a new dimension," said Lord Lloyd-Webber.

"His music might give musical theatre in London the shot in the arm it needs at the moment."

Lord Lloyd-Webber hopes the show will help entice young and Asian audiences into the theatre, and will be having a Sunday matinee because Sunday is an important family day among Asian communities.

Goodness Gracious Me actress Syal has written the love story script, while Lloyd Webber's long-time collaborator Don Black has composed the lyrics.

The show opens at the London Apollo Victoria Theatre.

The venue previously played host to the musical Starlight Express which ran for 18 years.

See also:

07 Mar 00 | South Asia
15 Jan 02 | Showbiz
29 Jan 02 | Arts
03 Sep 01 | Showbiz
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