International actress Sohm Kapila is joining the Midlands cast of Bhangra Nation, a new musical being staged in Birmingham.

As rehearsals are underway for the UK premiere of new musical Bhangra Nation – presented by Birmingham Rep in association with Mara Isaacs, Tom Kirdahy and Peggy Koenig – movie star Kapila has been added to the line-up.

The production features cast and creatives that hail from across the Midlands, alongside an international company, making it a exciting blend of home-grown talent and global names.

Actress Sohm Kapila is joining the Midlands cast of Bhangra Nation Supplied
Actress Sohm Kapila is joining the Midlands cast of Bhangra Nation

Auditions for the show were held in London and Birmingham. With the Midlands home to a host of South Asian communities, the staging of Bhangra Nation at Birmingham Rep is “a reflection of the exciting cultural fusion that the region is known for,” according to producers.

Completing the already announced cast is the internationally renowned actress Sohm Kapila. Born in India but raised in Nottingham, the starlet is set to play Rekha.

Kapila’s many credits include Aquaman 2, Spider-Man Across the Spider Verse, The Uninvited, and The Mummy.

Actor Ajay Sahota is from Birmingham and plays Gobind Supplied
Actor Ajay Sahota is from Birmingham and plays Gobind

But keeping her feet firmly on the ground, she is very excited to be back in Birmingham after working at The Mailbox on the radio play Silver Street for BBC Worldwide.

Sohm is joined by fellow Midlands’ actor Ajay Sahota, who is from Birmingham and plays Gobind. This is his first major role, and won the part based on his raw talent.

Within the creative team, the Bhangra consultant for the production is Parambeer Samrai, who runs the highly successful Birmingham-based Ultimate Bhangra group. And the dance captain Kuldeep Goswami, who plays Mohan, is from Leicester.

Bhangra Nation – A New Musical

Bhangra Nation will run at Birmingham Rep from 17 February to 16 March 2024Alexis Chabala
Bhangra Nation will run at Birmingham Rep from 17 February to 16 March 2024

Bhangra Nation – A New Musical is a powerful and pulsating new show about competitive Bhangra dancing, which will run at Birmingham Rep from 17 February to 16 March 2024.

When Mary and Preeti’s Bhangra team qualifies for the USA nationals, they set off on opposing quests to dance to their own beat. Drawing from competitive Bhangra and mixing it with other Indian and Western dance forms, Bhangra Nation – A New Musical is a brash, intoxicating and joyous musical comedy for today.

Birmingham Rep Artistic Director Sean Foley added: “I am beyond thrilled to be welcoming the amazing cast, the award-winning producing team, the extraordinary international creative team, and this spectacular show, to the Birmingham Rep.

“In a city that has a claim to be the modern centre of Bhangra, I’m looking forward to seeing the show connecting with both our South Asian communities, and with all audiences looking for a great night out.

(L-R): Siobhan Athwal (Sunita) & Jena Pandya (Mary)Alexis Chabala
(L-R): Siobhan Athwal (Sunita) & Jena Pandya (Mary)

“The Rep is a theatre for everyone, and I hope many people who perhaps will have never been to the theatre before will come along to enjoy the sheer talent involved in this feel-good new musical.”

Of the new production, Tony Award-winning producers Mara Isaacs and Tom Kirdahy described it as “a joyful, exuberant celebration of Bhangra and a deeply felt exploration of identity and community among young people finding their own way forward in the world.

“We can’t imagine a better home to help launch Bhangra Nation in the UK than in Birmingham!”

The principle cast members are Siobhan Athwal (Sunita), who counts roles in Doctors and Eastenders as well as many theatrical credits, Jena Pandya (Mary) who stared in The Rep’s production of What’s New Pussycat?, the wildly popular social media content creator and actor Iván Fernández González (Billy) and Zaynah Ahmed (Preeti).

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