Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Newcomer Nisha brings on the Bollywood

Published: 30 April 2017
Reporter: Steve Orme

Nisha Aaliya plays Dr Katrina Pawar
Avita Jay (Kangna)
Professional debut: Anthony Sahota (Lucky)

Newcomer Nisha Aaliya will play fiery heroine Dr Katrina Pawar in Bollywood dance-theatre show Bring on the Bollywood which opens a UK tour at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre.

Selected from hundreds who auditioned, Nisha Aaliya was discovered in the unlikeliest of circumstances, according to director Samir Bhamra who said, “Andrew Lloyd Webber has rightly slammed the lack of diversity in musical theatre but, for me, the lack of opportunities for young British Asian performers goes much deeper.

“I discovered Nisha by chance when she attended our auditions as a choreographic assistant. By urging her to audition herself, we’ve unearthed an exceptional acting talent.

“However, like the majority of young South Asian performers, her only outlets for professional showcasing have been Bollywood dance competitions. Without clearly defined pathways, formal training and a diversity of roles, such talents can surely only rely on a few musicals that focus on Asian culture for a route into the West End.”

Avita Jay plays Kangna. Anthony Sahota makes his professional acting debut as Katrina’s brother Lucky and Robby Khela plays Ronny.

Reprising their roles in Bring on the Bollywood after appearing in the original 2016 production are Rohit Gokani as Colonel Sunder Pawar and Sakuntala Ramanee as Lalita Pawar. Yanick Ghanty takes the role of Amit. His on-stage fiancée Rehka will be played by Sophie Kandola.

Completing the cast are Subhash Viman (Shahrukh), Jo Bispham, Mithun Gill, Raheem Mir, Emiko Ishii and Kesha Reithatha.

Phizzical Productions’ Bring on the Bollywood runs on the B2 Stage at the Belgrade from Saturday 6 May until Saturday 13 May. It then tours to Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre, Rose Theatre Kingston, Cast Doncaster, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Lighthouse Poole, artsdepot London, York Theatre Royal, Oldham Coliseum, Hall for Cornwall, Oxford Playhouse and Vivacity Peterborough.