Tamasha Theatre Company, Strictly Dandia

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

‘Young lovers, pushy mothers, hot moves and Gujrati grooves’ – the soundbite on the leaflet for Strictly Dandia encapsulates perfectly the feel of the show. The rowdy and enthusiastic audience kicked things off on a note worthy of Shakespeare’s pit – shouting, laughing and commenting with an enthusiasm rarely seen in the pompous theatre houses of London.

Strictly Dandia has a script scattered with one-liners such as ‘Just because Gandhi was a Gujurati doesn’t mean you can’t get angry’, an ironic self-deprecating ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ type of humour digging at all the conventions and stereotypes of Asian Middle England which is funny, poignant and well delivered.

The story of two young lovers across the religious divide (Hindu/Muslim) is essentially the Romeo and Juliet story and as the show is set during the Gujurati mating season Navratri, where for nine nights men and women take to the dance floor in a bid to attract the right partner and the eye of the judges, there are flashes of West Side Story, Fame and Billy Elliot. The dancing, choreographed by Liam Steel from DV8, is a fabulous fusion of hip hop, kathakali, breakdance, tango, disco, salsa, waltz and more which is performed with such gusto and enthusiasm by dancer/actors of all shapes and sizes it is a true pleasure to watch. We see most of the characters mainly through the choreography, and the natural interlacing of text and dance would put many West End musicals to shame. A joyful show full of integrity.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 26