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My Beautiful Laundrette

My Beautiful Laundrette

Young love blossoms amidst 1980s cultural and racial conflict.

Set in London during the Thatcher years My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation.

Based on Hanif Kureishi’s Oscar-nominated screenplay this latest production sees Lucca Chadwick-Patel and Sam Mitchell take on the lead roles of Omar and Johnny. Both impress in their performances – Chadwick-Patel developing from a shy young Omar to a confident business owner; Mitchell softening from the brutal fascist Johnny to the caring lover as their romance blossoms; both suffering from the challenges of class and family relationships. Nicole Behan’s direction offers some tender electric moments as the boys’ flirting builds to the inevitable first kiss. Alongside the leads, Sharan Phull (Tania) and Emma Bown (Rachel/Moose) offer strong support in this fast-paced staging. There are a lot of scenes to get through, but Behan works them well, making the most of Grace Smart’s set design.

I would have liked to see a bigger transformation of the launderette and a lot less shouting in the early scenes, but this well-directed production delivers challenging moments of racial conflict, scenes of violent confrontation, and tender moments of young love, all to a background of 80s’ tunes and newly composed music by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.

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Quays Theatre, Lowry: Mar 19th – 23rd, 2024

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Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Media

Published: 20-Mar-2024 (7422)

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