East is East at the Regent Theatre
I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not much of a theatre buff. It’s down to the fact that for the life of me I’ve never been able to sit through a musical (apart from Grease, which is my favourite musical film in the world ever) and I just assumed that most shows which are on at the theatre involve a lot of singing. It was a lazy and ignorant assumption I must admit! But yeah, turns out I was wrong because every time I’ve been the theatre so far, there’s been a minimal amount of musical numbers in the shows I’ve watched!
When I was invited to The Regent Theatre Press night to give an East is East review here on the blog, I thought I’d throw caution to the theatre wind and give this Thespian lark another little whirl.
East is East is of course, the theatre adaptation of the 1999 film East is East. The stage show involves non other than ‘Mrs Doyle’ from Father Ted heading up the Khan family as Ella, alongside her Pakistani husband George, played by Simon Nagra.
Immediately you are drawn in to the stage show with the familiar accent from the father of the Khan family, George. With a selection of ‘Bastard Bitches’ thrown about here and there, East is East is predominantly a comedy show, but with a darker underlying storyline evolving around the sometimes sinister backlashes of being a British born Muslim family. Set in the 1970’s, the theatre show does differ from the film version and features a streamline cast which each deliver a brilliant performance in their own rights, but also come together on stage to perfectly capture the dynamics of the Khan families day-to-day life.
Throughout the show, the mise en scène transports you to the back alleys of Salford via the Khan’s chip shop through the carefully arranged props and scenery. With authentic furniture and costume, even the in between changing of the props on set was a work of carefully arranged choreography, with the actors remaining in character to prance through the stage changing stuff around!
After seeing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers a few months ago and not being convinced that the Theatre was a thing for me, I think East is East at the Regent Theatre has finally talked me around in to giving stage shows a proper chance. My only qualms are that some of the audience were eating crisps and due to the unfamiliar acoustics of the venue I really had to concentrate on what the actors and actresses were saying. However, once the woman behind me had chomped her way through what appeared to be two sharing size bags of doritos, the second half was a lot more relaxed and I was used to ‘listening’ – if that makes sense!
I’m looking forward to seeing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Regent Theatre next week, which despite being a musical should be really fun! I’ve heard nothing but excellent opinions from anyone I’ve mentioned it to, so who knows – it might be my new Grease!
You can catch East is East at the Regent Theatre in Stoke on Trent until Saturday 25th July. Tickets for East is East are on sale now and can be purchased at the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or by visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke