News: Casting Announced for Bhangra Nation at Birmingham Rep

Casting for the UK Premiere of Bhangra Nation – A New Musical, presented by Birmingham Rep in association with Mara Isaacs, Tom Kirdahy and Peggy Koenig is announced today (Tuesday 12 December 2023). 

Bhangra Nation – A New Musical is a powerful and pulsating new show about competitive Bhangra dancing, which will run at Birmingham Rep from 17 February to 16 March 2024,with a press night on Tuesday 27 February 2024.  When Mary and Preeti’s Bhangra team qualifies for the USA nationals, they set off on opposing quests to dance to their own beat. Drawing from competitive Bhangra and mixing it with other Indian and Western dance forms, Bhangra Nation – A New Musical is a brash, intoxicating and joyous musical comedy for today. 

The cast includes:  Zaynah Ahmed (Preeti), Gregory Armand (Jake), Siobhan Athwal (Sunita), Tia Antoine Charles (Lily), Lydia Danistan (Shilpa), Kyle Evans (Noah), Iván Fernández González (Billy), Kuldeep Goswami (Mohan), Bob Harms (Wallace), Raimu Itfum (Varun), RoMaya Jey (Swing), Sophie Kandola (New Mary), Arysha Kelly (Shetal), Ai Kumar (Constance), Aaron Mistry (Swing), Mervin Noronha (Amit), Jena Pandya (Mary), Ajay Sahota (Gobind), Edward Turner (Swing) and Leo Udvarlaky (Bob).  Further casting will be announced in due course. 

With a book by  Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza, music and lyrics by Sam Willmott,  direction by Stafford Arima and choreography by Rujuta Vaidya, this ambitious and exhilarating new musical will be built and rehearsed at The Rep. Joining the already announced creative team are:  Michael Taylor (set design), Linda Cho (costume design), Nick Richings (lighting design) Adam Fisher (sound design), David Bengali (projection design), Rebecca Howell (additional choreography and musical staging), Parambeer Samrai (bhangra consultancy), Richard Morris (musical supervision), Matthew Malone (orchestrations), Kuljit Bhamra (additional arrangements and orchestrations) and casting by David Grindrod for Grindrod Burton Casting.   

The Tony Award-winning producers Mara Isaacs (Hadestown) and Tom Kirdahy (Hadestown and The Inheritance) said:

Bhangra Nation – A New Musical is a joyful, exuberant celebration of Bhangra and a deeply felt exploration of identity and community among young people finding their own way forward in the world. We can’t imagine a better home to help launch Bhangra Nation in the UK than in Birmingham!’ 

Birmingham Rep Artistic Director Sean Foley added:

‘I am beyond thrilled to be welcoming the amazing cast, the award-winning producing team, the extraordinary international creative team, and this spectacular show, to the Birmingham Rep. In a City that has a claim to be the modern centre of Bhangra, I’m looking forward to seeing the show connecting with both our South Asian communities, and with all audiences looking for a great night out. The Rep is a theatre for everyone, and I hope many people who perhaps will have never been to the theatre before will come along to enjoy the sheer talent involved in this feel-good new musical.’ 

The show originally premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2022 under the title Bhangin’ It.

Photo: Alexis Chabala

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