Robby Khela as Amar and Aizaac Sidhu as Seth. Picture: Hitz Rao


B2 Belgrade Coventry


Stardust has little of the X factor . . . and plenty of WHY? Why, for example, is there so much haze? The delayed second half had accumulated such a sea fret that the missing main actor, who I assumed had hot-footed to the Town Wall to drown his sorrows, may not have been spotted anyway.

Why was there such a lot of furniture removal for so little action? Why did anyone care at all for the selfish main character?

The story is confusing; the programme describes it as ‘an experimental musical thriller’. Why try combining so many elements? The thriller part was risable and it looked accidental that the actress (Sophie Kandola) DIDN’T drown in the weird background bathroom scene.

Presumably the lights came on too early and the audience weren’t intended to see her re-emerge from the bath? Musical, fair enough, there was singing and dancing. The songs were forgettable; though the dancing was energetic and good. Particularly bad was a bank of bright, white lights that suddenly came on full force in our eyes that I hope was an accident; it was medically dangerous.

So, the story. Mummy’s boy Amar (Robby Khela) is on the verge of a star musical career. ‘Mummy’ (Nataylia Roni) as sole parent, manager and agent is pushy and sympathetic by turns of Amar’s career, cognisant of his homosexuality and support for his long-term lover Seth (Aisaac Sidu).  

She introduces Amar to Cyrus (Christoph L. Dorocant), impresario, sexual predator and wife-murderer with a closet addiction to young men. His murdered wife Amor (Sophie Kandola), a famous singer, and mistress Delante (Amanda Clapham), his PA and fixer, tacitly support his clandestine habit but Amar is channelling Amor and her murder and songs haunt him.

A shrink (Harriette Mullen) can’t help; he needs to commit to Cyrus in exchange for career support but with a side order of sex.

The age-old conundrum, love or career, that most people never have to decide, is the main driver. Amar’s mother appears conflicted on this and Amar even more so.

Why do the characters appear to show so little passion for this big question? Were we watching a scared cast or a bored one? There was passion in the dance sequences, some of which were wonderful, particularly the two young male dancers (Joshua Jung, Marcus Grimaldi) but overall this production needs a tidy. Directed by Samir Bhamra it runs to 21-09-19

Jane Howard


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