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Review: Queen’s Theatre’s The Game of Love and Chai ‘fun and energetic’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 April 2018

The Game of Love and Chai was performed at the Queen's Theatre last week.

The Game of Love and Chai was performed at the Queen's Theatre last week.

Queen's Theatre

I’ve got to admit, I have never been the biggest fan of Bollywood.

Maybe it’s because I know very little about the culture or it just isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it’s never crossed my mind that it should be something I should make more time for.

But being invited to see The Game of Love and Chai, a modern Asian adaptation of a French play at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, did give me a chance to try it on for size.

The play, based on the original The Game of Love and Chance set in 1730s France, tells the story of a marriage between two British Asian families.

In the show, quirky mum Kamala wants her daughter Rani to marry successful but emotionally awkward businessman Raj.

Not so keen on marrying a stranger, Rani arranges a test for her potential husband-to-be.

She convinces cousin Sita to swap places with her, unaware that Raj has come up with the same plan with his driver Nitin.

The plot of a love square draws you in to root on all of the characters in the hope they will end up with their perfect match.

Actress Sharon Singh - who plays Rani - makes the play feel very relatable with her determination to do what’s right for her rather than her family.

Raj, played by Adam Samuel-Bal, is great to watch as well as he gives the man’s perspective on an arranged marriage in modern times.

Sita, Kamala, Nitin and flamboyant brother Sunny, were also there to lighten the mood much to the audience’s delight.

While most of the storyline was easy to follow, there were some references to Asian culture which - unlike some members of the audience who were nodding in acknowledgement - that I did not understand.

And I could see others, who did not know the play’s historic background, were bemused when the show ended with the cast in 18th century French costumes.

Nevertheless, the show was fun and energetic, which made for an enjoyable night out.

I’ve also realised that perhaps I could learn to be a fan of Bollywood after all.

The show will finish off its performances in Leeds.

Visit queens-theatre.com

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