Rifco announce Miss Meena & the Masala Queens
23 November 2016
Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre present Miss Meena & the Masala Queens
Rifco Artistic Director Pravesh Kumar today announces the UK tour of the world première Miss Meena & the Masala Queens, written by Harvey Virdi. This renews the collaboration between Rifco and Virdi, following on from the success of Happy Birthday Sunita and Meri Christmas. The production opens at Watford Palace Theatre on 9 May 2017 before touring to Warwick Arts Centre, Greenwich Theatre, Theatre Royal Windsor, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
A new piece inspired by the British Asian drag queen community, created in consultation with LGBTQ community, will uncover the untold stories of men who choose a female persona by night. Behind the sparkling costumes and big Bollywood style lip-sync dance numbers Miss Meena & the Masala Queens will reveal a very human story about the meaning of family.
Pravesh Kumar said today
"I’ve always planned that Rifco would tour a play that puts LGBTQ issues at the centre of the story. As a Britain Asian theatre-maker, it's always been really important to me that we continue to tell untold stories and give unrepresented voices a platform and make work that provokes as well as entertains."
Harvey Virdi has worked on a number of Rifco productions as a writer and performer. Writing credits for the company include Meri Christmas and Happy Birthday Sunita. Acting credits for the company include There’s Something About Simmy, Meri Christmas, The Deranged Marriage and Airport 2000. Virdi has worked extensively as a performer on stage and screen. Recent theatre acting credits include The Borrowers (Sherman Theatre), The White Devil, Roaring Girl Season and Arabian Nights (all RSC), Tiger Country and Tales From The Harrow Road (Hampstead Theatre), England People Very Nice and The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre). Her acting work for television includes Citizen Khan (on going), The Kumars, Lucky Man and Class Dismissed; and for film, Honour, Jadoo, Brick Lane, Bend It Like Beckham and Thunderbirds.
Artistic Director of Rifco Pravesh Kumar directs. He started the company in 1999 to make a different kind of theatre for a community that could not see themselves represented on English stages. Before setting up Rifco, Kumar worked extensively in Mumbai’s film and television industry, as an assistant director and writer. His theatrical directorial debut was in 1999 with a UK tour of Bollywood - Yet Another Love Story, which opened to packed houses at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith. He has gone on to achieve critical acclaim for Rifco’s award-winning productions: Laila The Musical, Britain’s Got Bhangra, Happy Birthday Sunita, It Ain’t All Bollywood, There’s Something About Simmy, Airport 2000, Meri Christmas, Where’s My Desi Soulmate?, The Deranged Marriage and Break The Floorboards. His first short film, Gods On Mountains was shot entirely on location in the Himalayas and was nominated for the Satyajit Ray Short Film Award in 2009. He was Associate Director on the musical Wah! Wah! Girls, which opened in the West End as part of World Stages London for the 2012 Olympics. He also writes and directs MummyJi Presents, a live theatre variety show and digital show, which was originally commissioned by The Space, a collaboration between the BBC and Arts Council England.