If Only Shahrukh Khan

We’re all here for the Shahrukh Khan fan club aren’t we? Good then let’s carry on…

By Manchester's Finest | November 8th '13

We’re all here for the Shahrukh Khan fan club aren’t we? Good then let’s carry on…. Opening by inviting us, the audience to their weekly Shahrukh Khan (The King of Bollywood and all round fabulous hunk extraordinaire for those not in the know) fan club meeting, the three central characters to this piece quickly create a fun and light-hearted atmosphere.

Brought together for reasons as yet unknown to the audience these three migrant spinsters share a home and a great love of their idol, the dreamy, King Khan.

13sep_IfOnlySRK-Flyer01

With some witty lines and light hearted audience interaction RASA theatre journeys writer (and performer) Rani Moorthy creates a fun and relaxed mood. The staging is simple yet very effective, different levels are used to create separate bedrooms above a central, cosy front room, the meeting place for the fan club. The intimate space allows for the audience to quickly become absorbed in the story and the performers are warm and welcoming. Pindy (Bharti Patel) and Kasi (Rani Moorthy) initially the more playful of the three are lodgers and friends to homeowner Rose (Pooja Ghai). Rose, is a little more reserved in manner but just as passionate about their idol, the fabulous King Khan.

It soon becomes apparent that there’s a lot more going on in the household than meets the eye particularly when Opiyo (Takunda Kramer) arrives in search of his mother whom he believes lives in the house, bringing with him the turmoil of the outside world our three ladies have so desperately tried to block out. Writer Rani Moorthy allows us to see into the very private lives of each of her characters and reveals some of the deep, dark secrets they hold. We realise that although these women share a house they really don’t share in each other’s lives and their only common theme quite tragically is their love for Shahrukh Khan. Their fan club offers an opportunity for escapism from the reality of their very complex pasts and presents. The contrast between how they act at their weekly fan club meetings and how they are once they close their bedroom doors locking the world out is stark and moving.

All three ladies give strong performances, Bharti Patel’s portrayal of Pindy who we learn is bipolar is very touching, she appears vulnerable and desperate, a stark contrast to the fun and giggly Pindy at the start of the piece. Rani Moorthy as Kasi is sure and strong initially masking the horrors of her past which she slowly and sensitively reveals more about through her emotive performance. Alcoholic daughter of a diplomat Rose (Pooja Ghai) appears dominant but in the privacy of her room we learn that she too is hiding from the sorrow of her past life and is keen to block out any slight attempt from the outside world to come in.

Rani Moorthy has created a very special piece of theatre; it’s powerful, bold and thought provoking. A true reflection of what RASA theatre company stands for. Showing at Z-Arts until Thursday 14th November.