Bombay Dreams original London production poster

Read press quotes from the original London production of Bombay Dreams.

London opening night, June 2002

“This is the bravest attempt at a West End musical in years.”
“The music and dancing are a perfect Bombay mix.”
London Tonight, ITV, 19 June 2002

“The musical is a lavish spectacle.”
Nigel Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2002

“The wonder of East has worked its magic in the West End.”
Bombay Dreams brings wonder of East to West End.”
“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s extraordinary new production.”
“You can’t help being seduced by its energetic charm.”
“Spectacular fights, tear-jerking romance.”
“Raza Jaffrey brilliantly plays the lead – a singing star is born.”
“The show’s finale unfolds in exuberant and exciting fashion. Lord Lloyd Webber has another hit on his hands.”
Kevin O’Sullivan, Daily Mirror, 20 June 2002

“It’s incredibly catchy, full of soaring ballads.”
“Beguiling instrumental colour.”
“Mark Thompson’s sets incorporate more tricks than the Magic Circle.”
“Thanks to the choreographers Farah Khan and Anthony Van Laast, the show brings to the West End a dance style which is a welcome change from the tired jazz steps that normally patter around Shaftesbury Avenue.”
“Blissfully over-the-top.”
“Gyrating damsels.”
“The phenomenal A.R. Rahman.”
Richard Morrison, The Times, 20 June 2002

“A Bombay Dazzler.”
“Hooray for Bollywood.”
“This joyous tribute to Bollywood movies.”
“The show is a delight.”
“The astounding musical talent of A R Rahman.”
“Shelley King’s hilarious show-business reporter.”
“Steven Pimlott’s energetic production has wonderful choreography by Anthony Van Laast.”
“Raza Jaffrey as the hero is charming and lithe.”
“Preeya Kalidas is simply divine, with the best West End musical theatre voice I’ve heard since Elaine Paige and Maria Friedman.”
“Beautifully designed by Mark Thompson.”
Michael Coveney, Daily Mail, 20 June 2002

“Epic night.”
“The sedate, old London stage was given a mighty shaking last night.”
“This spectacular epic, a musical fairytale.”
“Bold, inventive.”
“Lush, romantic lyricism.”
“The book by film and TV scriptwriter Meera Syal is ingenious, inventive and radical.”
“Dalip Tahil’s grandly eccentric film producer and Raad Rawi’s smooth incarnation of Indian mafiadom are outstanding.”
“Miss Kalidas beautifully sings the wistful, melodious ‘Love’s Never Easy’.”
“Steven Pimlott’s elegant production.”
“A real, epic sweep.”
“Shelley King injects splendid, ethnic comedy into the musical as Kitty.”
Bombay Dreams is a musical step in the right direction.”
Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard, 20 June 2002

“Rahman’s wonderfully fresh, exciting and sometimes yearningly romantic score.”
“The show offers several terrific set pieces.”
“A thrilling wet-sari dance routine.”
“Anthony Van Laast’s choreography is energetic.”
“(The young cast performing with) bubbling vitality.”
“Mark Thompson’s designs are a gaudy kitsch delight.”
“Rahman’s terrific music.”
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2002

“Feel the heat of Bollywood.”
“London’s hottest most exotic new musical.”
“It’s the best filmworld musical since Sunset Boulevard.”
“The songs are fabulous as are the big dance numbers.”
“The cast is British-Asian and terrific.”
“A fine lead performance by Raza Jaffrey.”
“Great fun, great costumes, and a refreshing change from every other West End show.”
Robert Gore-Langton, Daily Express, 20 June 2002

“The stage explodes with thrilling percussive music and a cascade of pink-turbaned dancers expertly drilled by Anthony van Laast and Farah Khan.”
“It offers instant optical pleasures.”
“Deliriously dotty Bollywood set-pieces.”
“Pop spectacle.”
“A choreographed fiesta.”
“Mark Thompson’s designs are a delight.”
“Raza Jaffrey and Preeya Kalidas have charm and sex appeal.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian, 20 June 2002

“Extraordinarily fertile melodist, A.R. Rahman.”
“Mark Thompson provides erotically and evocatively stunning sets.”
“A story created by Meera Syal with wit and drenched in sublime melody.”
“There hasn’t been a richer or more appropriate musical ballad than “The Journey Home” in years, and it’s delivered with amazing power by Raza Jaffrey as Akaash, the most exciting new leading man to emerge in a London musical since Hugh Jackman became an overnight star in the National Theatre production of Oklahoma!
“Leading lady Preeya Kalidas as the object of Akaash’s love is also a tremendous new discovery.”
“Hilarious showbiz gossip reporter, Shelley King.”
Mark Shenton, BBC London Website

“Rahman’s gorgeously resonant score.”
“A spirited cast perform stunning dance routines.”
“The energy and melodies linger – making Bollywood in the West End seem like destiny.”
Metro, 20 June 2002

“Lavish sets, huge dance numbers and West End pazazz.”
“The show comes with a vibrancy that, at its best, is thrilling. There are fine ballads and pop numbers.”
“The big fountain dance makes Singin’ In The Rain look like a drought.”
“The show throbs with an infectious rhythm to Rahman’s varied score.”
“It is great fun, both funky and romantic and, above all, it is a breath of fresh air in a West End dominated by has-beens musicals.”
Robert Gore-Langton, Daily Express, 21 June 2002

“Dreams meet reality.”
“Intoxicatingly kitsch.”
Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times, 21 June 2002

“Fantastically realised.”
Arwa Haider, Metro, 21 June 2002

“Break out the Bolly!”
“This joyous tribute to Bollywood movies.”
Michael Coveney, Daily Mail, 21 June 2002

“The biggest theatrical event of the year.”
Daily Mail, 21 June 2002

“Bolly good fun.”
“It’s a spicy brew – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bollywood blockbuster musical is colourful, exciting and tragic – you will certainly leave the theatre with good karma.”
“The fine songs penned by Indian superstar A R Rahman.”
“This summer’s surprise hit.”
“It’s part Goodness Gracious Me, part Love Story with laughs-a-plenty.”
Dominic Mohan, The Sun, 21 June 2002

Bombay Dreams is a spectacular tribute to Bollywood.”
“It is a big brave show. It reaches out. It does something new.”
Bombay Dreams is a terrific show: a big silky, sensual show, lush and lavish and extravagantly colourful.”
“Thompson’s sets are superb, brilliantly exploiting the huge stage, and his costumes are ravishing.”
“The choreography by Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan is stunning, simple but beautifully evocative.”
“Most of all Steven Pimlott’s direction is masterly.”
“He combines the visual, the musical and the dramatic into a brilliant theatrical whole.”
“Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of Starlight Express, can look forward to another long tenancy at this historic theatre.”
John Peter, Sunday Times, 23 June 2002

“The musical genius of AR Rahman.”
“Mark Thompson’s design explodes in purples and pink.”
“Rahman’s lush and slippy score.joyously marks the beginning of the end for American domination of the musical.”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 23 June 2002

Bombay Dreams is refreshingly different.”
“You get gorgeous saris, a gushing fountain and a parade of pink elephant-gods.”
“Sinuous arms, zigzagging heads and light stomps – blurring into funky body-popping.”
“The tabla drumming and bhangra beats are exhilarating.”
Kate Bassett, The Independent on Sunday, 23 June 2002

“Lloyd Webber’s latest venture is a bold one.”
“Fine dancing.”
John Gross, The Sunday Telegraph, 23 June 2002

“(ALW) reinvents not only himself but also the musical form.”
“This is not only a truly original show, but taps sensationally into the vogue for all things Bollywood.”
“The show is a convincing collision of styles and content.”
“Exuberant, lavishly-staged production numbers are exhilaratingly animated by a huge ensemble.”
“Raza Jaffrey is a leading man with a real tingle factor.”
“Ayesha Dharker and Shelley King steal the comic honours.”
“This is best and most unusual British-originated musical since The Phantom of the Opera. It deserves to be as big a hit.”
Mark Shenton, Sunday Express, 23 June 2002

“Bolly good show.”
“The brilliant new musical Bombay Dreams.”
“With AR Rahman’s kickin’ music it’s a great night out.”
Bombay Dreams is a love story that will have you laughing and crying in your seat.”
Rav, News of the World, 23 June 2002

“Hooray for this spicy bite of Bollywood.”
“A loving, lavish celebration of Bollywood brings a breath of India, a new sound, new choreography, a whole new style and vibrancy with it.”
“It’s as exotic and enticing as one’s first taste of curry.”
“Extravagant set-piece song-and-dance routines and a spicy score.”
“Gorgeous curvy, sexy, bare-midriffed belly-dancers, dripping with sequins.”
“Ayesha Dharker is fab.”
“A gorgeous kaleidoscope of colour.”
“A spine tingling romantic sweep. I love it!”
Georgina Brown, The Mail on Sunday, 23 June 2002

“Real excitement.”
“The glittering kitsch of the Bollywood routines, complete with an orgasmic fountain.”
“The choreography shifts from a sinuous sensuality to a hard-edged rhythmic beat.”
“Rahman’s score – a ravishing combination of percussion, keyboard and strings – hits the spot.”
Jane Edwardes, Time Out, 26 June 2002

“Bravo for Bollywood. But how about a rousing cheer for Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
“Britain’s musical maestro is hereby proclaimed the maharaja of musical comedy.”
“Wearing his Producer’s turban he has conjured up something entirely original.”
“The epic West-meets-East schlock buster fills the vast Apollo Victoria with the blood, sweat, hopes and heart-breaks of teeming Bombay.”
“Meera Syal’s script achieves a cheery balance between Bollywood send-up, musical melodrama and social comment.”
“A R Rahman’ couldn’t be more authentic. Rahman has provided a glorious crossover score combining uplifting Indian filming sounds with soaring western orchestral melodies.”
“Lloyd Webber’s stroke of genius was to import Bollywood’s superstar choreographer Farah Khan, surely the Busby Berkeley of Bombay.”
“The spectacular ‘Shakalaka Baby’, complete with dancing fountains, erotic wet saris and pelvic thrusts is one of the wonders of the West End. I wouldn’t have missed those hips gyrating in unison for all the tea in India.”
“A vibrant British-Asian cast.”
“Raj Ghatak steals the show as head eunuch.”
Roger Foss, What’s On, 26 June 2002


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