Cultures clash in stage version of Kureishi classic - how to watch online

Friday, 11th September 2020, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 9:49 am

An acclaimed stage version of Hanif Kureishi’s groundbreaking film My Beautiful Laundrette is now available to watch online.

Based on Kureishi’s Oscar-nominated 1985 screenplay, the multi-award-nominated production features new and original music by Tennant/Lowe of Pet Shop Boys. The show also sees Gordon Warnecke, who starred in the original film as Omar, return to the story in the role of Omar’s father.

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The production is joined online by a recently recorded, in-depth digital discussion between Kureishi and director Nikolai Foster, designer Grace Smart and cast members Paddy Daly (Genghis & Dick O’Donnell), Kammy Darweish (Nasser), Hareet Deol (Salim), Jonny Fines (Johnny), Nicole Jebeli (Tania), Omar Malik (Omar), Balvinder Sopal (Bilquis & Moose), Cathy Tyson (Rachel & Cherry) and Gordon Warnecke (Papa & Zaki).

The show was originally filmed for archive purposes during a dress rehearsal at Curve in Leicester, which was opened up to audiences for £1 per ticket, as part of a scheme aimed at enabling as many people as possible to see theatre. The captioned recording, which can be watched free of charge, will remain available to stream online until Curve is able to reopen its doors for performances.

Jonny Fines as Johnny in My Beautiful Laundrette (photo: Ellie Kurttz)

Audiences can also view a digital programme for the show, as well as a series of audio descriptive notes created for blind and partially sighted viewers.

Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette is a subversive culture clash comedy, telling the story of a young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business.

After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them.

Curve chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said in a joint statement: “Working with Hanif, the acting company and production team on My Beautiful Laundrette was a truly joyful experience for all of us at Curve. Watching the dress rehearsal recording and the team reunion for our In Conversation has been wonderfully enriching. Kureishi’s words remain as vital and important as they ever did. We hope you enjoy spending time with these extraordinary characters and the Q&A session.”

The show was co-produced by Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse.

The recording of My Beautiful Laundrette joins a host of Made at Curve productions released online during lockdown, including Memoirs Of An Asian Football Casual, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest and Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw.

Curve closed its doors in March due to the effects of Coronavirus and since then has remained committed to creating and sharing digital content, as well as supporting those in the industry.

Visit www.curveonline.co.uk for more information about the theatre.