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Unashamed: Phizzical launch new track from musical thriller Stardust

Posted on 4 September 2019

Phizzical Productions today release the official music video for Robby Khela’s Unashamed, part of the original soundtrack for their forthcoming musical thriller Stardust.

The release of the track on Friday 6 September 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of British colonial rule – had prohibited homosexual activities, but in 2018, the law was ruled unconstitutional and repealed by the Indian Supreme Court.

Re-envisioned by music producer Devesh Sodha, Unashamed is a heartfelt coming out ballad with vocals by Robby Khela, who also stars in the show as Amar, and has a personal resonance for the songwriter and performer.

Robby Khela said, “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 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.”

Devesh Sodha added: “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.”

Making its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre 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 Harriette Mullen, Nataylia Ronia and Amanda Clapham completing the cast.

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, Amar is plunged into an extraordinary journey when he discovers Amor’s songs, culminating in a chilling encounter with Cyrus.

The play is directed by Sâmir Bhamra, with design by Richard Evans, choreography by Leena Patel, lighting by Grant Anderson and sound by 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 from 14-21 September as part of our B2 Season of Love and Belonging. Tickets are available to book now. Don’t forget that you can get 20% off tickets when you book for two or more shows in our multi-purchase offer.