Gurinder Chadha and the cast of the West End show ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ last night revealed the first song ‘UB2’ from the highly anticipated musical.
The song is a tribute to Southall (postcode UB2) and features the cast setting the scene for the show. The accompanying video was shot on the streets of Southall before rehearsals began. The cast spent a day singing, dancing and stopping traffic, and took over one of the most iconic streets in west London.
Chadha said of the filming and the track:
UB2 is where Jess lives, and where I lived. We wanted to get people to start to feel the essence and heart of the music, and the best way was to bring it to life here in the heart of the community.
London previews begin for the new British musical Bend It Like Beckham on 15 May 2015 with opening night on 24 June 2015.
Natalie Dew plays football crazy Jess with Lauren Samuels as Jules, a player with the Harriers, a local women’s football team, and Jamie Campbell Bower as their coach Joe. Ronni Ancona will play Paula, Jules’s Mum, with Jamal Andréas as Jess’ good friend Tony. Preeya Kalidas plays Pinky, Jess’ sister, with Tony Jayawardena and Natasha Jayetileke as her parents, Mr and Mrs Bhamra.
In an impassioned speech, Chadha acknowledged that the core theme of the much-loved film and subsequent show, revolving around Jess’s relationship with her father, is very much based on her own life, and the show is a tribute to her late father, who never let colour or prejudice stop her from pursuing her passion.
Jess needs extra time. 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 about where we are now. Featuring an original score with a Punjabi kick, it brings a unique cultural fusion of musical theatre to the stage for the first time. This reimagining 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.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha, with original music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart, Bend It Like Beckham has a new book by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha; choreography and musical staging by Aletta Collins; set design by Miriam Buether; costume design by Katrina Lindsay; lighting design by Neil Austin; sound design by Richard Brooker; musical direction by Nigel Lilley and orchestrations by Howard Goodall and Kuljit Bhamra. Bend It Like Beckham is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Deepak Nayar Productions and Bend It Films.
Opening week’s ticket prices for Bend It Like Beckham are £15 – £49.50 with some ‘Book It Like Beckham’ seats at £15 each in prime positions throughout the house. For group bookings there is a 5-a-side rate of £49.50 per ticket and an 11-a-side rate of £39.50.
On film, the British comedy drama Bend It Like Beckham starred Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaznay Lewis and Archie Panjabi, and was released in 2002, directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra and Paul Mayeda Berges. Following the international release of Bend It Like Beckham the film, produced by Deepak Nayar and Gurinder Chadha, went on to win multiple awards worldwide.
Photo Credit: Uli Weber