Hornchurch's Queen's Theatre hopes to bring more Asian fans into the fold with new comedy

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 March 2018

The Game of Love and Chai will be coming to the Queen's Theatre in April, 2018. Photo: Simon Annand.

The Game of Love and Chai will be coming to the Queen's Theatre in April, 2018. Photo: Simon Annand.


A Hornchurch theatre is hoping to encourage a more diverse audience with a new play that combines French farce with a Bollywood twist.

The Game of Love and Chai combines French farce with Bollywood song and dance. Photo: Simon Annand.The Game of Love and Chai combines French farce with Bollywood song and dance. Photo: Simon Annand.

The Game of Love and Chai is centred on a marriage between two modern day Asian families.

Actor and playwright Nigel Planer teamed up with Tara Arts’ artistic director Jatinder Verma to produce the show.

Jonathon Kennedy, associate producer at Tara Theatre spoke about the formation of the theatre and their aims to increase diversity in theatre at a special ambassador event for the play on Wednesday, March 28 in Hornchurch.

The Earlsfield theatre was formed in 1977 in response to the racially motivated murder of Gurdip Singh Chaggar, a 17-year-old Sikh boy living in Southall, West London.

Jonathon said: “The company was founded to bring our cultures together, East and West, as a sort of cross-cultural aesthetic.

“I think the reasons for the company’s foundation are still relevant today.”

Nigel Planer, who featured in BBC’s The Young Ones, updated Marivaux’s classic play The Game of Love and Chance by adding Bollywood song and dance.

“Nigel travelled to India and fell inlove with the place. He discovered the films, and even learnt to speak Hindi,” said Jonathon.

“[The play] is very much about physical humour.

“It’s about the mishaps and foolishness we all go through when falling in love. I think it’s had a really broad audience, across generations aswell.”

Sarah Soliman, marketing manager at the Queen’s Theatre has already seen the play.

She told the Recorder: “It was just hilarious, really colourful, vibrant and very fast paced.

“We are trying to grow our Asian audience, but this show really is for everyone.”

Previous shows at the theatre include Laila the Musical and Bring on the Bollywood.

Honey Uppal, owner of the Tandoori Lounge restaurant in High Street, Hornchurch added: “I know at least 30 people who would love to come and watch this.

“I think people who have Asian friends, or who have an inkling about the culture, would find this really funny.”

The Game of Love and Chai is playing at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane from April 19 - 21.

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