January has been a dry month, pretty apt but also just very boring. Payday seems a million miles away and getting back into freelancing is taking a lot of effort. With that being said though, I was invited to a show that I couldn’t refuse and completely made my January – Umrao Jaan Ada.
I love Sadler’s Wells and they really know how to pick some incredible shows so I must admit I had high hopes.
The seating is great, with comfy seats with generally enough leg room without feeling completely uncomfortable (our seats were L8, L9 and L10 for reference).
The show starts with a wistful narrator setting the scene. I’m going to be honest, it did feel like he was shouting and the sound was extremely loud. It felt overwhelming and I was worried about how the show would pan out. With that being said though, once the show actually started the sound sorted itself out.
The entire show is in Hindi but they do have multiples screens on both sides of the stalls with English subtitles. I have to say though the subtitles were not always in sync with the scene and at one point they turned off completely. However if you’re well versed in Hindi or like me, you can get by knowing what’s going on then you’ll be absolutely fine.
The characters have been cast exceptionally well and the talent is just unbelievable. It honestly took me a good few scenes to work out that Umrao Jaan and the other courtesan were singing live and I was mesmerised. Pratibha Singh’s stage presence is glorious and she portrays Umrao really well. Madame Khanum is also fantastic.
It would be a great injustice not to mention the classically trained dancers too. I could really sit here and talk about each and every actor on the stage and praise them.
The theatrics and stage effects are also very impressive. It’s less, homemade/let’s just run with it but instead really beautiful. I would definitely watch it again and if you can get holf of tickets, I really would recommend that you do.
If you’re curious about the music then the soundtrack to the show is actually on Spotify. All you have to do is type in Umrao Jaan Ada.
The show is sadly only on for 4 days but I really really hope that they bring it back or continue to tour. A huge congratulations to the cast and crew, it really is a job well done.
Umrao Jaan Ada is showing from 22nd January to 26th January 2020. Tickets can be bought here [Link now removed].