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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the current landscape of black British and Anglo-Asian musical theatre, in both the commercial and subsidized sectors. Finding parallels in early twentieth-century British performance histories, the chapter suggests that popular commercial definitions of ‘hybrid’ musical theatre works such as Bombay Dreams (2002) or Bend It Like Beckham (2015) are almost always mediated and received through a lens that is coloured by white middle-class concerns. Yet, while the mainstream musical is showing definite signs of change in its performance of multiculturalism, it is primarily because of the work of Off-West End producing houses (for instance the Theatre Royal Stratford East) and theatre companies (such as Nitro) that many of the productions representing contemporary experiences of diaspora communities in Britain are staged.

Keywords: Anglo-Asian musical theatre, The Big Life, black British musical theatre, Bombay Dreams, diaspora, hegemony, Miss Saigon, multiculturalism, postcolonialism

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