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Miss Meena and the Masala Queens at Watford Palace Theatre.

Published by: Trevor Gent on 10th May 2017 | View all blogs by Trevor Gent

Dazzling saris, grand Bollywood lip-sync dance numbers and adoring fans are now a distant memory for Miss Meena. The once famous drag queen has lost his sparkle and like his nightclub is washed up and out of date. The punters have gone and whilst the other drag queens are strutting high heels elsewhere, property developers are circling like vultures waiting for Miss Meena to give up the lease on the run down club. 

A new arrival brings a glittery rainbow of hope. But just as things are starting to look up for Miss Meena, a visitor from the past questions everything he stands for. The action is set in and around a drag nightclub for young Asian men in Birmingham. Although not a musical there is music and dancing in this colourful production.

The pressure of family loyalties and commitments are laid bare and cause confusion in various characters but primarily in Miss Meena (aka Abdul) and also Shaan, the 19 year old run away he takes in from the street seeing similarities from his own family situation.

 

Miss Meena and Shaan

It is sometimes slow and disjointed but there is humour and you really root for the two aspiring drag queens (rather unkindly nicknamed Pinky and Perky by Munni). This character has a few ideas of his own and takes advantage after the death of Miss Meenas father. This event closes the first act and leaves you feeling a bit flat.

The second act opens with the funeral and Abdul (Miss Meena) guilt ridden.  He tries to make amends and even agrees to an arranged marriage but with support from his friends at the club and eventually even his brother he returns to the club and starts again.

Essentially this is a story about having the courage to be who you are and it even throws in ‘I am what I am’ from La Cage Aux Folles in the glitzy finale. The mainly Asian audience enthusiastically applauded and were obviously familiar with the songs and dances but this may not suit everyone.

 

Miss Meena Dance 

Playing at:

Watford Palace Theatre from 5th to 13th May.

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry from 16th to 20th May.

Greenwich Theatre, London from 24th to 27th May.

Theatre Royal, Windsor from 30th May to 3rd June

NST Campus Southampton from 6th to 10th June

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds from 13th to 17th June.

 

Reviewed by Trevor Gent

Photos Credited to David Fisher

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 year ago
    Thanks, Trevor. Cracking review!
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