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BrumHour saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at the invite of The Alexandra.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Dave Massey spoke to Kerena Jagpal about acting on stage in her home city of Birmingham as part of the UK Tour of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Listen below:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production features some strong language and sensitive themes.
Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at The Alexandra
⭐⭐⭐⭐Wonderfully fun and filled with gentle humour.
Directed by Lucy Bailey, written by Deborah Moggach based on her book These Foolish Things
Hayley Mills is Evelyn, Paul Nicholas plays Douglas and Rula Lenska is Madge in this culture clash/culture mixing story set in contemporary India (Jaipur in Northern India). A group of retired British citizens arrive at an Indian hotel, which is to become their retirement residence and the story follows some months of their time there.
This is a warm, fun and charmingly told production featuring a cast of older performers and plenty of younger performers too plus some less older performers including Rekha John-Cheriyan as owner Mrs Kapoor, who brings a sense of modern life in India to the stage, forming the middle generation almost by herself. Her son Sonny (Nishad More) wants to live a modern life and openly date his secret girlfriend Sahani (Shila Iqbal) who works in the local call centre and his mother wants him to marry a wealthy woman.
Hayley Mills and Paul Nicholas are excellent but for me Rula Lenska is a total scene stealer in all of her scenes bringing a cheeky and charming performance to this wonderful production.
The stage is covered by a single multiple level static courtyard which has entrances and exits on several levels. It has random holes in it to show the ageing of the hotel and the lighting is fairly stripped back with no character spotlights used at all from the front of the stage.
There is incidental music which also utilises some children’s nursery rhymes which at first feel fairly innocuous but have meaning later on. I’d not seen the film version or read the book so I was totally new to this story and it felt like a very rich set of characters with plenty of tales to tell. A great evening out and I’d presume it would make a fantastic matinee show to see.
Wonderfully fun and filled with gentle humour, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is at The Alexandra until 25th February 2023. The tour currently continues until 17th June 2023, find out more here: marigoldshow.com/#tourdates. Discover what is coming up at The Alexandra and book tickets using BrumHour’s affiliate link >> HERE <<.