Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon spoke to Bilal Khan about making his stage debut in Dishoom! which opens at the Watford Palace Theatre on the 12th September. 

Bilal Khan - head shot

Hi Bilal, thanks so much for talking to me. What can you tell me about Dishoom! Thank you for having me it is an absolute pleasure to talk to you. ‘Dishoom!’ is a show about a teenager called Simon who is very warm, strong and likes to speaks his mind when he needs to. Simon is introduced to a Bollywood film called ‘Sholay’ by his cousin Baljit, they form a friendship over the film and discover their inner superheroes and how to make the impossible possible.

How are you feeling about making your stage debut in the show? I am really excited and cannot wait to tour around the UK with the brilliant production cast and crew for ‘Dishoom!’.

What attracted you to the part of Simon? I initially got attracted to the role of Simon because he likes to challenge others and fights to get his point across. I was also excited about the role because his experiences are so different to mine – he is living in the 1970s compared to me in the 2000s and people with disability are more accepted into society and are more integrated with the people around them.

What has it been like so far working with director Pravesh Kumar? Working with Pravesh has been amazing as he has been very supportive and making sure everything runs as smooth as possible for me during the rehearsals. Pravesh has also been a brilliant help for me as he has given me one to one support in terms of getting ready for the show. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Pravesh and his team at Rifco Theatre Company for allowing me to be part of something special and life changing.

How are you feeling about touring? I am really excited and cannot wait to get on the road and travel with the cast and see new places and meet new people tour.

What do you think that audiences will take away from Dishoom!? The audience will take away with them joy, laughter and excitement. As well as never giving up in doing something and making the impossible possible.

The production features references to the film Sholay – have you seen it? If so what did you think? I have seen parts of the film for research as I don’t really watch Bollywood films, but it was really interesting seeing a diverse range of characters and get an idea of what the 70s era was like. I also spoke to family members who have seen the film, especially my mum who is a big fan!

What can audiences expect from the show? The audience can expect a combination of drama, comedy and action!

By Emma Clarendon 

Dishoom! will play at the Watford Palace Theatre from the 12th to the 22nd September before embarking on a UK tour. For more information visit: https://www.rifcotheatre.com/shows/dishoom