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Casting announced for Phizzical's Stardust

Posted on 8 July 2019

As it celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2019, South Asian performing arts company Phizzical is delighted to announce full casting for the world premiere of its upcoming musical thriller Stardust.

Created by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Samir Bhamra, the show tells a tangled tale of romance and reincarnation, set against the backdrop of the contemporary music industry.

Amor 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, British Asian singer Amar is struggling to make his mark as a mainstream star. When he discovers Amor’s songs, Amar plunges into an extraordinary journey that culminates in a chilling encounter with Cyrus.

Paying homage to the reincarnation genre in popular Indian cinema, as well as to cult Bollywood films such as Mahal and Om Shaanti Om, this brand new show from the makers of Bring on the Bollywood combines pulsating dance numbers with an original soundtrack by Robbie Khela, featuring an eclectic mix of romantic, pop, R&B and Bollywood-style tracks.

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.

Stardust Cast Headshots

Playing the central role of Amar will be actor, singer and songwriter 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, including Cissy in Punk Rock and Lady Anne in Richard III.

The cast also features the familiar face of Sophie Kandola as Amor. 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 Coco in Fame.

Christoph L. Dorocant will take on the role of music mogul Cyrus Singhania. His career highlights include 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.

Lending their powerful vocals to complete the cast of Stardust are Harriette Mullen, Nataylia Roni and Aizaac Sidhu. Harriette will multi-role as emerging pop-star Tara and psychotherapist Dr Constance Mullen. Her previous credits include Search for Cilla and Rose Willis & Understudy Cilla in Cilla The Musical. Multi-talented performer Nataylia will play Amar’s ambitious mum and manager Sheila. Her 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 (songwriter) 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 after featuring in Phizzical’s short film, Mad About The Boy.

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 ( The 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) and 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 2017’s Midnight Moment.

Stardust makes its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre 14-21 September. Tickets are available to book now. You can also save 20% on ticket prices when you book for two or more shows in our multi-purchase offer.