An identity crisis comedy centred on Mahmud Nasir, successful business owner, and salt of the earth East End Muslim who discovers that he's adopted - and Jewish.
HERE'S THE MOVIE...
NOW THE MUSICAL!
INFIDEL - THE MUSICAL! is an original stage musical comedy in the tradition of such subversive musicals as Book of Mormon, Avenue Q and Spamalot!
Based in a London suburb, Mahmud Nasir lives with his pretty wife, Saamiya, and two children, Rashid and Nabi. His son plans to marry Ji-Ji, the step-daughter of Pakistani Arshad Al-Masri, a so-called 'Hate Cleric' from Waziristan, Pakistan. Mahmud, who is not exactly a devout Muslim (he drinks alcohol and does not pray five times) but does agree that he will appease Arshad, without whose approval the marriage cannot take place. Shortly thereafter Mahmud, while going over his recently deceased mother's documents, finds out that he was adopted, his birth parents were Jewish, and his name is actually Solly Shimshillewitz. He conceals this information from his family, and with the help of his neighbor, Leonard Goldberg, tries to understand the Jews and their religion. But on the day of the meeting with Arshad and Ji-Ji, Mahmud will find his life drastically changed. The resulting cultural and religious chaos leads to an uproarious and insightful comedy of identity, race, prejudice and confusion.
Theatre Royal Stratford East one of the UK’s most prolific producers of new musicals and a theatre committed to programming for young and diverse audiences, the show is the perfect final element in their ambitious programme this year. The theatre has a vision to break new ground with musicals that bring contemporary and urban music into the mainstream of British theatre. Most recently this has included the Off-West-End award-winning Glasgow Girls (with National Theatre Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, Pachamama Productions and Merrigong Theatre Company, Australia), Wah! Wah! Girls (with Sadler’s Wells and Kneehigh), Reasons to be Cheerful (with Graeae Theatre Company and New Wolsey Theatre) and Britain’s Got Bhangra (with Rifco Arts & Warwick Arts Centre).
EXCITED? WELL THERE'S MORE...
David Baddiel: Writer, Book & Lyrics; co-DirectorDavid is one of Britain's most successful post-alternative comedians and is responsible for some of the most memorable and groundbreaking comedy achievements of the last twenty years. In 1992, he performed to 12,500 people with Rob Newman in the UK’s first ever arena comedy show and was credited as turning comedy into "The New Rock’n’Roll" long before arena comedy gigs became commonplace. This was followed by numerous hit TV shows including The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Newman and Baddiel in Pieces; Baddiel & Skinner Unplanned and Fantasy Football. This year, David returns to the stand-up stage after an almost 10 year absence, with his critically acclaimed show FAME: NOT THE MUSICAL.
David wrote and co-produced the original INFIDEL movie, and is making his musical theatre writing and directing debut with the musical adaptation.
Erran Baron Cohen: Composer
Erran Baron Cohen is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, & producer.
Erran has received three ASCAP Composer Awards for his scores to BORAT, BRUNO and THE DICTATOR. Following the release of Borat, the Kazakhstan Philharmonic commissioned him to compose a symphony. The subsequent work "Zere" scored for a 70 piece orchestra was performed in London and Kazakhstan, and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
Erran has scored numerous Television Documentaries, Adverts, Drama, Idents, and Theme Tunes. He also often composes songs for the movies he has scored including the final "epic" song "Dove of Peace" from Bruno, which was performed by Elton John, Bono, Sting, Chris Martin, Snoop Dogg and Slash.
Arvind Ethan David, Producer & Writer of Additional Material
Arvind is a writer & producer of films, television and theatre. His producing credits include five feature films, including The Infidel and the Warner Brothers high-school horror movie Tormented, as well as dozens of short-films.
As a writer Arvind’s first professional play Dirk (based on the Douglas Adams novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) resulted in a life-time grant of rights by the Adams’ estate, 3 LA Weekly Awards in 2007 and more than 20 productions globally. Arvind is also currently working with multiple Grammy winner Alanis Morissette to create a Broadway show based on her seminal album, Jagged Little Pill.
Kerry Michael - Co-Director
Kerry was appointed the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Stratford East in September 2004.
In 2007, Theatre Royal Stratford East was nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘presenting a powerful season of provocative work that reaches new audiences’. Its hip-hop dance production Pied Piper won an Olivier Award the same year. Kerry’s most recent directing credits include Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff, I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, a co-production with the Barbican Centre, The Great Extension. Ray Davies’ Come Dancing and earlier this year the world premiere of Takeaway the first British-Chinese musical.
Mike Dixon: Musical Supervisor
Mike Dixon graduated from Trinity College of Music in 1979 and since then has become one of the most experienced and respected musical forces in London’s West End and on British television. His work spans all genres of music as Musical Supervisor, Musical Director, Arranger and Composer.
Theatre: The Bodyguard, Hair, Zorro, Never Forget, We Will Rock You, Daddy Cool, Footloose, Grease, just to name a few.
Barney Ashworth - Musical Director
Barney has been involved extensively in Musical Theatre, Radio & TV as Musical Director, Assistant and Instrumentalist.
Credits include: MD for John Owen Jones & Louise Dearman, Grease (Tour), Spiral (China), Never Forget (Savoy), Blood Brothers (Phoenix), SHOUT! (The Arts), CATS (Tour), Cinderella (Drury Lane), Sweet Charity (AMTA), FAME! (Ireland/ArtsEd),and more!
YOU HAVE AN AMAZING TEAM! (why thank you) WHY DO YOU NEED ME?
The show is ambitious and more expensive than a subsidised theatre like Stratford East can afford. The creative team have been working on it for free for 18 months, and continue to do so - but now, its time to hire actors, build sets, put together a band and get the show on the road... That all takes more money than ticket sales from the initial run can support, and raising commercial money into a musical about the religious strife between Muslims and Jews.... we'll, that's never going to be easy. So we need your help - with your support we will be able to make the musical as funny, as wild, and as full of heart as it needs to be.
Our experience of having the movie come out and do well in 60 countries around the world, and seeing its effect on audiences from Mumbai to Jerusalem to Berlin to Singapore from Hounslow to Bradford, has given us faith in this story. We are asking you to take a pledge of faith with us.
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Development Workshop photos by: Nick Jackson
Video Edited by: Brother Brother
Video Filmed by: Schuman Hoque, Jake Orr, and David Baddiel
Video Produced by: Melissa Johnson-Peters
Piano & Arrangements by: Barney Ashworth, Percussion by Ryan Martin Vocals by : Melanie Masson, Barney Ashworth
Risks and challenges
We have the collaboration of many wonderful people available to us, but to make it, we will need your help.
These are some of the things that we have been able to pull together so far-
-- We've been working on this show for almost two years already. The songs are all written, the Creative Team is in place, and we've done 3 different workshops with musicians and actors putting the show on its feet, most recently, we presented the show to a 100 invited industry guests in London and got a great response.
-- We've got the support of a great theatre. Stratford East has put on dozens of musicals and tons of original shows and has a particular reputation for new, multi-cultural, stereotype busting work - exactly what INFIDEL - THE MUSICAL is.
And we hope, you know our past work and know that we can follow through.
All to say, if you help us raise this money, the show will happen - it will open in London in October 2014. And you'll be there to see it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As long as kickstarter goes OK, tickets for the show will go on sale in late April 2014.
We'd love to - but because we are a live theatre show with a limited 6 week run, we have a finite number of seats available, and each seat has a value to us - average ticket price will be around 20 quid. So we've tried to strike a compromise between giving away as many seats as possible - more than 200 tickets are available as rewards at the various tiers, starting at 75 quid - with not giving away tickets so liberally that they end up costing the production more money than they generate as rewards.
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