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Wuthering Heights with a Slumdog twist

Oldham Coliseum replaces Cathy and Heathcliffe with Shakuntala and Krishan

Published on March 11th 2009.


Wuthering Heights with a Slumdog twist

If Emily Brontë had grown up in Rajasthan rather than Yorkshire, Wuthering Heights might have turned out something like this new production at Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

They're staging an adaptation of her classic novel, but with a Bollywood twist. Set in the scorched desert landscape of Rajasthan, it tells the story of Shakuntala, the beautiful and headstrong daughter of spice merchant Singh. When Singh adopts Krishan, a wily street urchin from Bombay, the two are thrown together as unlikely siblings.

A tumultuous romance soon develops...and those familiar with the Brontë novel will know all about the heartbreak, revenge and emotional outbursts that follow.

With sweeping landscapes, a tortured hero, a long-suffering heroine, and a tragic love story, Wuthering Heights has definite affinities with Bollywood dramas. Though how the notoriously gloomy novel will translate into Bollywood's notoriously upbeat style, is yet to be seen.

The production features all the classic ingredients of Indian cinema – romance, melodrama, dance and a captivating soundtrack. It has been adapted by Deepak Verma who is best known for playing Sanjay in EastEnders, and it stars Pushpinder Chani as Krishan and Manchester-born Youkti Patel as Shakuntala.

Tamasha, the theatre company behind it, created East is East plus the hit shows Strictly Dandia and Two Weddings and a Funeral, which won the Barclay's Theatre Award for Best Musical. It's likely to be popular so book now if you want to go.

Wuthering Heights runs from 13 to 28 March at Oldham Coliseum. Tickets: £5 - £18.50. Groups of 10 or more get a discount of £3 off each ticket. Family tickets (two adults plus two children, week nights only) are available for £40. Young people under 26 can apply for a free ticket as part of a government initiative. Contact the box office on 0161 624 2829 for further information.

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championMarch 11th 2009.

Will this be a true-to-novel adaptation of an anti-hero's vendetta on two families or more in line with the Oberon/Olivier nonsense of 1939. Judging by the artwork my gues is the latter. Oh deary me.

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