“Could anyone in their right mind call this silly little island off of Europe their home?”
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of iconic British pop duo Pet Shop Boys join the production team for upcoming stage adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette. The composing duo Tennant/Lowe will create original music for the show to help bring the 1980s drama to life.
A Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Curve, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse co-production, the show will run at the Belgrade from Tuesday 29 October until Saturday 2 November.
Since releasing their first record release in 1984 (just a year before the release of Hanif Kuresihi's groundbreaking film), Pet Shop Boys have sold over 50 million records worldwide. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are also known for their theatre music, including for original stage musical Closer to Heaven (which is being revived in London this summer) and ballet The Most Incredible Thing, a collaboration with choreographer Javier de Frutos produced by Sadler’s Wells. This summer at the Edinburgh Fringe, Pet Shop Boys will present the world premiere of MUSIK, a new cabaret show with a script by Jonathan Harvey.
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe said: “It’s wonderful to be part of the team bringing My Beautiful Laundrette from the screen to the stage and we’ve enjoyed writing mainly instrumental music to be presented within a British Asian context.”
Curve Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said: “It is a testament to the extraordinary world and characters Hanif has created, that Neil and Chris have come on board to compose music for our autumn drama. As the Pet Shop Boys, Tennant and Lowe have created some of the greatest pop tunes ever written and we are thrilled they are bringing their astonishing talents to this production.
“Alongside our tremendous acting company and design team led by Grace Smart, it’s shaping up to be a very exciting project!”
Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his Uncle’s run-down launderette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them. This culture clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism, sprinkled with magic and joy running through the rich veins of Kureishi’s writing.
Playing the role of Omar in this new play is Omar Malik (East is East, Nottingham Playhouse), alongside Jonny Fines (An Officer and a Gentleman at Curve) as rebellious punk Johnny. Gordon Warnecke, who played Omar in Stephen Frears’ 1985 film of My Beautiful Laundrette, joins the cast of the new production as Papa, Omar’s Father.
The cast is completed by Paddy Daly, Kammy Darweish, Hareet Deol, Nicole Jebeli, Balvinder Sopal and Cathy Tyson. The show will be directed by Nikolai Foster and designed by Grace Smart, with lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound by Tom Marshall, fight direction by Kevin McCurdy and casting by Kay Magson CD.
My Beautiful Laundrette shows at the Belgrade Theatre 29 Oct-2 Nov as part of the B2 Season of Love and Belonging.
Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper. Book for two or more participating shows at once to claim 20% off your ticket price.