Bend It Like Beckham will play its final performance in London’s West End in six weeks. Meanwhile, producers of the critically acclaimed musical are finalising plans for tours of India, Dubai and the UK. The musical, directed by Gurinder Chadha, with original music by Howard Goodall, lyrics by Charles Hart and a new book by Paul Mayeda Berges & Gurinder Chadha, has played at the Phoenix Theatre since May 2015 and will close on 5 March 2016. Gurinder Chadha said: ”I am incredibly proud of the Bend It Like Beckham cast, musicians, production and creative teams. “We opened at the Phoenix Theatre to the most amazing five star reviews and we’ve inspired and entertained people of all ages and all backgrounds, something I have not seen in the West End for many years. “Whether in the UK or abroad, Bend It Like Beckham will continue to defy expectations and proudly represent … Read more
Act Two is practically perfect. It starts with a fabulous number for the girls, Glorious, and it never looks back. It’s full of great music from Goodall and the range of styles he covers is significant. He uses Punjabi tunes effectively, there is a terrific solo for Jules’s mother, There She Goes, a melodious duet which is gentle and joyful, Bend It, then a stirring quintet and an overwhelmingly joyous piece which celebrates the wedding of Pinky and Teetu in contrapuntal tandem with the celebration of the football grand final win. By the time the second Act is over, the longeurs of the first have been brushed aside, and the infectious sense of harmony and happiness is irrepressible.
Although there are a few moments when the old girl creaks slightly, for the most part the staging feels contemporary and interest is snapped to attention right from the very start, when the slightly menacing words of the auctioneer herald the commencement of proceedings. The sequences in the Phantom’s lair, complete with boat, candles and ornate organ are almost hypnotic; tendrils of smoke wrap around the imagination, infusing the action and music with intrigue. Harriet Jones is beautiful, petite and alluring, exactly as Christine Daaé should be. Vocally, as the Phantom, Kieran Brown’s fine, high-baritone is silky, seductive, and powerful.
Gurinder Chadha will direct the world premiere of the new British stage musical Bend It Like Beckham. With original music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart, Bend It Like Beckham will have a new book by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha; choreography and musical staging by Aletta Collins; set design by Miriam Buether; costume design by Katrina Lindsay; lighting design by Neil Austin; sound design by Richard Brooker; musical direction by Nigel Lilley and orchestrations by Howard Goodall and Kuljit Bhamra. Bend It Like Beckham is being produced by Sonia Freidman. Jess needs extra time. She is facing the most important decision of her life; live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenage footballer is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of opportunities opens up before her. But as the … Read more