6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

Explore the captivating world of South Asian theatre shows in 2024, from Bhangra beats to Bollywood tales and intimate family dynamics.

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

'Mehek' marks the return of Aakash Odedra

South Asian theatre shows are undergoing a significant evolution, with an increasing number of productions bringing a diverse range of narratives to the forefront.

From tales rooted in culture to introspective examinations of identity, there’s a discernible shift in the contemporary creative landscape.

In certain instances, these shows not only meet but surpass the expectations of avid theatre enthusiasts.

What adds to the excitement is the growing array of fresh narratives stepping into the spotlight, drawing new audiences into the world of theatre.

Beyond the sheer entertainment value, this surge in new stories serves as a testament to the diverse experiences and journeys of individuals across the globe.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the most anticipated South Asian theatre shows set to grace stages in 2024.

Bhangra Nation – A New Musical

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

Kicking off the year with a sensational start, the UK will witness the premiere of Bhangra Nation – A New Musical in 2024!

This dynamic and compelling tale of self-discovery is narrated with vibrant energy.

As Mary and Preeti’s American collegiate Bhangra team qualifies for the USA Nationals, they embark on divergent journeys to dance to their rhythms.

Fusing competitive Bhangra with a blend of Indian and Western dance forms, Bhangra Nation emerges as a jubilant musical comedy that resonates with the spirit of today.

The show is crafted by an international creative team assembled by the acclaimed Tony and Grammy Award-winning producers Mara Isaacs and Tom Kirdahy.

Promising an outstanding theatrical experience, Bhangra Nation is set to be one of the most promising South Asian theatre shows of the year.

Find tickets and more here

Oh No!

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

Fresh off the victory of the Best Newcomer title at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, one of India’s most mesmerising comedians kicks off her inaugural UK tour.

Urooj Ashfaq, a stand-up comedian hailing from Mumbai, India, boasts not only a degree in psychology but also personal experience as a therapy recipient.

Curious about the theme of her show? Why not just show up, embrace the surprises, and go with the flow?

Here’s a taster: the show revolves around Urooj’s family, pet peeves, and passions.

Naturally, she’ll delve into her own narrative, given that she’s only speaking in the third person.

Whilst this is more of a stand-up, rather than theatrical show, you still don’t want to miss out on this delightful experience.

Find tickets and more here

Indigo Giant

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

In 1859, on a field in Kanaipur, Bengal, Sadhu Charan, a joyous indigo farmer, begins a new chapter of life with his recently wedded wife, Kshetromani, a woman gifted with visions of the future.

Initially, their existence is idyllic.

However, when the arrival of the British Planter Rose introduces peculiar desires, the insidious grip of the indigo system starts to suffocate their happiness.

Against the backdrop of the British Raj, vast expanses of the Bengali countryside were dedicated to cultivating the indigo plant to satisfy the world’s unquenchable demand for the colour blue.

The atrocities committed by British planters sparked an extraordinary revolution, leaving an indelible mark on Bengal.

Indigo Giant unfolds as a gripping and haunting drama, drawing inspiration from Dinabandhu Mitra’s groundbreaking play, Indigo Mirror, which exposed the harsh realities of the indigo system.

Presented by the Komola Collective and directed by Gavin Joseph, South Asian theatre shows don’t get much more gripping than this. 

Find tickets and more here

Frankie Goes to Bollywood

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

From the creative minds behind Britain’s Got Bhangra comes the highly anticipated world premiere of a new British musical.

Prepare to be immersed in the vibrant realm of Bollywood!

Rifco presents its most ambitious musical to date, Frankie Goes to Bollywood, a visually stunning journey filled with romance, epic songs, and spectacular dance numbers.

This production draws inspiration from real-life stories of British women thrust into the limelight of the world’s largest film industry.

Frankie never aspired to stardom, but a chance encounter with a director propels her into the competitive world of Bollywood.

As she ascends the glittering staircase of fame, Frankie grapples with the choices she must make for the allure of recognition and wealth.

Can she navigate the challenges of the Bollywood family while remaining true to herself?

Amidst the backdrop of heroes and villains, elaborate costumes, and grand sets, brace yourself for a dazzling narrative of Bollywood.

Find tickets and more here

Mehek

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

Derived from the Hindi word for fragrance, Mehek evokes the enduring power of memory and the very essence of love itself.

This vibrant exploration of the human heart — its desires, courage, and resilience — is expertly brought to life through Aakash Odedra and Aditi Mangaldas.

Both are hailed as the foremost South Asian dancers of their respective generations.

In this spellbinding performance, an untold and often overlooked love story is given a voice.

Centred around a mature woman and a younger man, the dance intricately delves into their characters, challenging societal norms and reshaping the fundamental meaning of love.

Mehek marks the return of Aakash Odedra to the UK after the highly successful Samsara in 2022 and stands as the first duet in Aditi Mangaldas’ illustrious 50-year career.

Find tickets and more here

The Power (of) The Fragile

6 Must-See South Asian Theatre Shows of 2024

In The Power (of) The Fragile, Mohamed extends an invitation to his mother, Latifa, to join him on stage.

Reuniting after several years of separation, their connection is rediscovered within the realm of the theatre.

Latifa harboured dreams of being a dancer, while Mohamed turned that dream into his profession.

The boundaries of their bodies meld, making it challenging to discern where one ends and the other begins.

Their lives and aspirations intertwine, with only the passage of time asserting its presence between mother and son.

A visual collection, The Power (of) The Fragile explores the notions of home and departure.

Hailing from Tunis, Mohamed commenced his dance journey at the age of 12, training in Paris and Tunis, and later contributing to works by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Damien Jalet.

The UK premiere of The Power (of) The Fragile unfolded as part of the Shubbak Festival 2023.

Find tickets and more here

These South Asian theatre shows promise unique journeys through narratives that transcend borders.

These productions not only entertain but also serve as windows into the rich stories of the human experience.

They challenge norms, redefine cultural narratives, and celebrate the diversity that fuels the creative landscape. 

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Images courtesy of Rifco, The Rep, Soho Theatre & Instagram.




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