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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Bombay Dreams: Press views
Preeya Kalisdas who plays Priya and Raza Jaffery as Akaash
The show has received a mixed response from critics
Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical Bombay Dreams opened in London on Thursday night. While some reviewers praised its sense of fun, others took a different line.


The Guardian

On the one hand, we are clearly meant to admire the producer's daughter who wants to make something superior to the average star-crossed lovers Bollywood movie with its lavish musical interludes. Yet much the best bits of Bombay Dreams, and of AR Rahman's score, come when the stage is given over to just such a choreographed fiesta.


Daily Mail

Once you enter the spirit, the show, cannily produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is a delight. And it brings to a mainstream audience the astounding musical talent of AR Rahman, the 36-year-old "Asian Mozart" from Madras who has sold more records than Madonna and Britney Spears combined.


The Daily Telegraph

Musicals finally stand or fall with the book and Meera Syal's script is a mess. Best known for the series Goodness Gracious Me and a couple of light comic novels, she fails totally to find a consistent tone. Laboured jokes are combined with depressingly under-powered melodrama in her story of a film-struck youth from the Bombay slums who falls in love with the pampered daughter of a Bollywood producer.


The Times

Consider the writing talent that Lloyd-Webber assembled for this show: the film director Shekhar Kapur; the veteran lyricist Don Black; the Goodness Gracious Me creator Meera Syal. Then consider the results. Scenes that lurch into each other like blind elephants. A plot that disintegrates into a ragbag of sitcom skits on Miss World, women's lib and the like. The lamest ending in West End history. Trite lyrics. Cardboard characters. Dialogue that would test the patience of Mother Teresa.


Daily Mirror

As our hero, slum-kid Akaash escapes to the big time in Bollywood he and his cohorts fail to deliver many decent songs. By the end of the interval I was privately renaming the show Bombay Nightmares. But, boy, do things pick up in Act Two. Fireworks, spectacular fights, tear-jerking romance and a few great songs save the day.


The Daily Express

It's as subtle as a panto, but then so is Bollywood, which this show joyfully echoes. Great fun, great costumes, and a refreshing change from every other West End show.


The Independent

It's a shame that this potentially thrilling subject is crippled by formula and mediocrity, but, then again, its time is out of joint. When "India'' does not mean songs and sequins, but terror and panic, one needs more than this shoddy glamour to forget reality.

See also:

19 Jun 02 | Entertainment
20 Jun 02 | Entertainment
31 May 02 | Entertainment
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