Interview with Pravesh Kumar
21 March 2016
An ancient legend gets a thoroughly modern makeover in Rifco’s stunning new show Laila. Artistic Director, Pravesh Kumar, tells us more…
Laila seems quite a contrast to last year's contemporary comedy The Deranged Marriage. Why this project?
It's time for new musical that celebrates diverse Britain. Rifco have been resident at WPT for four years now and we wanted to do something that really celebrates our partnership, showcases our creativity and goes further to entice new audiences. The show is created by the same writing team as our previous award-winning musical Britain's Got Bhangra and can be enjoyed by all - even those who don't normally enjoy musical theatre.
The legend of Laila Majnun is well-known to Asian audiences and there have been countless adaptations of the story throughout history. What is Rifco's take on the tale and what will set your version apart from the others?
Laila Majnun is THE East's love story and is 700 years older than Romeo and Juliet. In our version, Laila is a modern British Pakistani girl and our story explores the themes of love and honour in present-day Britain. As a company with a focus on contemporary British Asian stories, we look at how the themes are still relevant today, and this fusion is represented in the amazing original score by Sumeet Chopra.
Like Romeo & Juliet, it's a tragic love story. But will audiences still get a taste of the fun and sparkle that they've come to associate with Rifco's shows?
Audiences can certainly expect to have their heartstrings pulled by the love story, but there is also some real fun and humour in the script, an alternative ending to the original and, of course, all the sparkle you would expect from a Rifco production!
Interview by Sophie Sellars.