Song release marks one year since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. Robby Khela’s original track will feature in the world premiere of Phizzical’s musical thriller Stardust.
The release of the track coincides with the first anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. Previously Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code – a vestige of British colonial rule – had prohibited homosexual activities. In 2018, the law was ruled unconstitutional and repealed by the Indian Supreme Court.
Reproduced by music producer Devesh Sodha, Unashamed is a heartfelt coming out ballad. Singer-songwriter Robby Khela who also stars in the show as Amar has a personal resonance for the songwriter and performer.
“Writing Unashamed was therapy for me. It was written at a time when my mum accidentally found out about my sexuality and she found it very difficult to accept it. I didn’t have have anyone to speak to, and so I poured all my feelings into the song. I took a universal approach when writing it, so this song will speak to anyone who has been made to feel inferior.” Robby Khela
Making its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from 14-21 September, Stardust will be the UK’s first South Asian-led theatre production to feature a same-sex marriage. Inspired by the popular reincarnation thrillers of Bollywood cinema, it uses the concept of reincarnation to explore the idea of love between two souls, free from gender.
Robby Khela stars as Amar, a young British Asian singer trying to make his mark in the mainstream music industry, alongside Christoph L. Dorocant as Cyrus, Aizaac Sidhu as Seth and Sophie Kandola as Amor, with Marcus Grimaldi, Joshua Jung, Tianna Sealy-Jewiss, Harriette Mullen, Nataylia Roni and Amanda Clapham completing the cast.
Amar is the Whitney Houston of the Bollywood music industry in the late 1980s. She is silenced when she uncovers an explosive secret involving Cyrus, her music producer and husband. 30 years later, Amar is plunged into an extraordinary journey when he discovers Amor’s songs, culminating in a chilling encounter with Cyrus.
The play is written by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Sâmir Bhamra, directed by Sâmir Bhamra, with design by Richard Evans, choreography by Leena Patel, lighting by Grant Anderson and sound by Devesh Sodha.
“When Robby spoke about the song, I could sense from the way he was feeling that the music should capture the emotions of someone afraid and how they find courage to overcome their fears with love.” Devesh Sodha
Director Sâmir Bhamra said: “It’s taken a long time to make this show because attitudes towards Asians being gay are only slowly shifting. A lot of South Asian countries that were colonised have inherited archaic British laws, meaning that homosexuality has remained illegal until quite recently. But as attitudes in those countries start changing, we can see that shift begin to permeate here too. We want to be part of helping to shape a more progressive society and a more progressive South Asian community in the UK.”
Stardust premieres at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from 14-21 September as part of the B2 Season of Love and Belonging.
Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper. Book for two or more participating shows together to claim 20% off your tickets.