She is facing the most important decision of her life: live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenager is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of unexpected opportunities opens up before her. But as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, can she keep her family happy and still follow her dreams?
Bend It Like Beckham is a joyous new British musical comedy. Featuring an original score with an Indian kick, it brings a unique cultural fusion of musical theatre to the stage for the first time. This re imagining of the much-loved hit film sees generations, cultures and communities brought together in this joyous and uplifting story about bending the rules and scoring that deciding goal.
“Initially I resisted the suggestion to give Bend It Like Beckham a musical treatment, but as time went on I realised how significant I thought the film had been in terms of race relations in this country, the presence of the Asian community and how very little came after it that celebrated who we are as a nation in the same way. I had been deeply moved by Billy Elliot the Musical and loved how it had crystallized a particular moment in history, so I began to reconsider.
Developing Bend it Like Beckham for the stage, has been the most enjoyable creative process of my career so far. What I have been very lucky to do, is to surround myself with people who I think are exceptional, at not only being at the top of their game, but who completely understand what we are trying to do. What you will see in Bend It Like Beckham is the result of 4 years’ worth of collaboration: multiple workshops with musicians, actors, dancers and of course footballers.
Our ambition, is to create a totally new British musical, with a different musical language. A musical that speaks to us of today, the last 30, 40 years of Britain and of where we are as a nation. The Asian influences that are there are basically Punjabi West London – those that I have grown up with – fused with West End musical influences.
What we are trying to do is make a stakehold for those of us who believe we live in a brilliant nation that is all the better for being as diverse and as interesting culturally as it is, and that it isn’t just one community that has created this.”
Gurinder Chadha, Writer and Director
Director of the original hit film, Gurinder Chadha directs, with choreography and musical staging by Aletta Collins (Anna Nicole, ROH). Bend It Like Beckham is written by Paul Mayeda Berges & Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham (film), Bride & Prejudice). The original score is an East-West fusion of Bhangra and soaring melodies with music by Howard Goodall (Love Story, The Hired Man), lyrics by Charles Hart (Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love) and orchestrations by Howard Goodall and pioneer of British Bhangra sound, Kuljit Bhamra.