The Game of Love and Chai at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

by Julie Wallis

The Game of Love and Chai at Belgrade Theatre

The Game Of Love And Chai is at the Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre until Saturday 28th April and #BrumHour thought it was more than worth the trip!

Funny and fresh with classic undertones, I definitely saw influences of Shakespeare alongside modern and traditional British Indian values, There’s a touch of Frankie Howard in the way the characters break the fourth wall and talk to the audience and shades of Citizen Khan. This is a contemporary play that has been written by Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, Filthy Rich And Catflap), but which is loosely based on a classic French farce by Marivaux.

The Game of Love and Chai - Tara Arts
The Game of Love and Chai – Tara Arts

Rani (Sharon Singh) is a beautiful, successful, 21st century woman. with a career in law and knows her own mind, she does not want to be owned or controlled by a man that she would probably never trust. “Men lie and cheat don’t they?”

So when her mother (Goldy Notay) makes arrangements for Rani to meet Raj (Adam Samuel-Bal), an equally successful young man and also handsome young man, Rani decides to play a little trick on Raj. Rani convinces her cousin Sita (Kiren Jogi) to impersonate Rani, thus allowing Rani to observe Raj. But Raj also decides to swap identities with his driver Nitin (Ronny Jhutti) so as to see what Rani is like from a distance.

The Game of Love and Chai Tara Arts 4

I do love a good farce and I know there are people who equally dislike a farce, The Game Of Love And Chai is subtle in the farcical elements and is just a jolly good comedy, with no trousers lost and nobody hidden in a cupboard. With plenty of laugh out loud moments, this is fabulously fun and funny.

Sharon Singh plays Rani, the clever, successful lawyer who instigates the entire farce. Sharon has an elegance about her that came through even when she was trying to play the part of her poor cousin. I like to think that was what Raj could see when he fell for her even when she was dressed in her more working class outfit. Although she is a good actor, she has to compete with Kiren Jodi who really shines as cousin Sita. With her perfect comedy timing Kiren gets a whole lot of laughs throughout.

Raj, as played by Adam Samuel-Bal is wonderful as the handsome love interest and plays the part of awkward love interest with extra Bollywood leading man good looks. His driver Nitin played by Ronny Jhutti had the best lines for laughs too. When Ronny and Kiren were together as fake Raj and fake Rani they gave us some of the funniest scenes.

The Game of Love and Chai - Tara Arts
The Game of Love and Chai – Tara Arts

My only very slight grumble: Kamala-Ji (Goldy Notay) did seem rather young to be mum to adult children but she was a wonderful character perfectly portrayed. Sunny played by Deven Modha, who is brother to Rani was another fabulously funny character and again he has great comedy timing and a very expressive face too.

Stripped back, the set for The Game Of Love And Chai appears to be a garden in modern Britain, consisting of two topiary arches and a small statue in between. Props too were minimal, Sunny has a cricket bat which does get waved around a little, Kamala-Ji has a glass in her hand at times and that’s about all in the way of props, it’s very bare bones but works well.

The Game of Love and Chai - Tara Arts
The Game of Love and Chai – Tara Arts

I did love the costumes, obviously the contemporary outfits that each character starts off in are not much to get excited about, but when Sita is being Rani and she is being wooed by Nitin whilst he pretends to be Raj, I did love the way the colours of each character complimented each other, even though Nitin is in a bit of a comedy outfit they still looked great together and for the very final scene the outfits are both something special and very unexpected.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Game Of Love And Chai and so did the rest of the audience last night it seemed. I’m really glad that I went to see this, it was well worth the trip to Coventry.

The Game of Love and Chai is at Belgrade Theatre until Saturday 28th April book tickets here:

This isn’t a sponsored post. Julie and Dave were invited to see The Game of Love and Chai by Belgrade Theatre.

Julie blogs as RedandGoldWeb here: