Tuesday night saw the cast and crew of Behind the Beautiful Forevers deliver a captivating performance to a celebrity-packed audience. The National Theatre opened its doors to stars of the screen and stage including; James Bond star Kabir Bedi, Eastenders stars Nitin Ganatra, Himesh Patel and Rakhee Thakrar, Seema Pathan of The Wright Stuff, BBC presenters Yasmin Khan and Naga Munchetty and actors Kulvinder Ghir, Shivani Ghai and Valmike Rampersand.
The latest production from the National Theatre, Behind the Beautiful Forevers tells a gripping tale of poverty and global ambition in the Mumbai under-city. Following the lives of the slum-dwellers of Annawadi, one of Mumbai’s most impoverished, ramshackle slums, the play captures the humanity of an underclass fighting to survive the violence, greed and corruption of the rapidly changing world around them.
The play kept the audience enthralled and here’s what they had to say:
“I thought that the play was absolutely incredible and powerful. It was so emotional and really takes you on a journey with the characters. The acting was out of this world – I’ve never seen anything like it before!”- Seema Pathan
“It was thoroughly enjoyable. Superb acting! What really stood out was the set design – it was so innovative and creative – spectacular staging!” – Valmike Rampersad.
“I thought the production deftly brought together the potent cocktail of poverty, power and corruption in the slums. It was epic in its storytelling range; each character’s journey felt poignant and necessary. Loved the set and sound. And it was great to see so much talent on the stage.”
– Yasmeen Khan.
Directed by Rufus Norris and written by David Hare, the hard-hitting new play, which combines gritty reality with dark humour and a punchy soundtrack, is based on the original award-winning book by Katherine Boo and stars Meera Syal with an impressive supporting cast including: Hiran Abeysekera, Esh Alladi, Nathalie Armin, Pal Aron, Tia-Lana Chinapyel, Vincent Ebrahim, Sartaj Garewal, Mariam Haque, Thusitha Jayasundera, Muzz Khan, Ranjit Krishnamma, Manjeet Mann, Nikita Mehta, Anjli Mohindra, Tia Palamathanan, Bharti Patel, Ronak Patani, Chook Sibtain, Anneika Rose, Gavi Singh Chera, Stephanie Street, Anjana Vasan, Assad Zaman and Shane Zaza.
The new production is running at the National Theatre from 19th November, and is currently booking until 13th April. Part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season, half the tickets for every performance are £15. It will be broadcast to UK cinemas by National Theatre Live on 12th March.