To mark our 15th anniversary, we are delighted to announce a stellar cast and creative team for the World Premiere of its upcoming musical thriller STARDUST by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Samir Bhamra.
STARDUST will mark a first for the British stage as the first South Asian theatre production to feature same-sex marriage. It will also explore topical issues such as the #MeToo movement, toxic masculinity and the patriarchy.
Playing the central role of Amar will be Robby Khela, who has penned original pop and R&B songs for the musical. His recent credits include Grindr The Opera, which won Best New Musical at The Offies 2019 and Indian films including Judwaa 2, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Dil Diyan Gallan. Robby’s work in music has seen him support pop acts such as Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour. He re-joins Phizzical having previously appeared in the previous national tours of Bring On The Bollywood and Cymbeline, a Bollywood staging of William Shakespeare’s late plays.
Joining him will be Amanda Clapham, best known for her portrayal of Holly Cunningham in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks – a series regular and fan-favourite for the past five years. No stranger to the stage, Amanda performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Norris & Parker – All Our Friends Are Dead and played many leading roles during her training, to include Cissy in Punk Rock and Lady Anne in Richard III.
Christoph L. Dorocant will be playing the role of the music mogul Cyrus Singhania. His highlights include the Hollywood film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and theatre productions The Tempest, directed by Simon Usher (The Print Room) and God City at the Shuffle Festival hosted by Danny Boyle.
The cast welcomes the familiar face of Sophie Kandola who plays Amor, the Whitney Houston of Bollywood. Sophie began her professional career with Phizzical, first starring in the short musical film Mad About The Boy and the national tour of Bring on the Bollywood. Her recent credits include playing Coco in Fame.
Bringing their powerful vocals to Stardust are Harriette Mullen. Nataylia Roni and Aizaac Sidhu. Harriette will be multi-role featuring as emerging pop-star Tara and psychotherapist Dr Constance Mullen. Harriette is best known for appearing in Search for Cilla and went on to play Rose Willis & Understudy Cilla in Cilla The Musical. Multifaceted performer Nataylia will be playing Amar’s ambitious mum and manager Sheila. Her previous credits include The Harder They Come and the BAFTA award-winning, pre-school dance and music show Boogie Beebies by BBC. Aizaac has numerous theatre and film credits including Beauty and Beast for Disney Dream, Umrao: The Noble Courtesan and This Was a Man.
STARDUST is the third production by deaf writer Shahid Iqbal Khan, whose development has been nurtured by Phizzical’s associate artist scheme, where he has been mentored by Michael Attenborough CBE and BAFTA nominee Janys Chambers. It is the second collaboration between associate artists Devesh Sodha (music producer) and Robby Khela (song-writer) following the success of Bring On The Bollywood in 2016 and 2017. Devesh is an international composer for film, television, theatre and games, working with major companies such as Paramount, Nike, Harley Davidson and EMI. Their songs written for STARDUST have recently won the Bronze Best Music Award at Queen Palm International Festival in California.
The creative team sees the return of choreographer Dr Leena Patel and designer Richard Evans. Leena is one of the UK’s most accomplished and leading Asian dance sensations. Her work has stretched from training young, fresh talent to professional level through to choreographing celebrities including Will.I.Am, Gary Lineker, Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ali Zafar, Malaika Arora Khan, Bipasha Basu and Amy Jackson.
Richard’s work includes the West End premieres and subsequent international tours of Seussical and Guess How Much I Love You and the UK Tour of hit musical Avenue Q. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the Scottish Culture Design Award and his work has been nominated for the Broadway World Awards (Addams Family, 2014) and the Off West End Awards (Merchant Of Venice, 2013).
Lighting will be designed by Grant Anderson, whose credits include Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs (Edinburgh International Festival), My Left Right Foot (National Theatre of Scotland & Birds of Paradise), We’ll Live and Die in these Towns (Belgrade Theatre). Grant has also designed extensively for the Scottish Events Industry, including Botanic Lights, (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh), Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Torchlight Procession & Street Party, including the 2017 Midnight Moment.
Director Samir Bhamra is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist, creative director and producer who has created numerous productions that encourage BAME participation in the arts. He is the winner of the Arts and Culture Award 2016 at the British Indian Awards, Best Costume Designer and Best Director at Asian Cinematography Awards for the short musical film Mad About The Boy in Manila.
Stardust is supported by Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants.