Phizzical Productions has today released the official music video for Robby Khela’s Unashamed, part of the original soundtrack for its forthcoming stage musical, Stardust.
The release of the track coincides with the first anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. Previously, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code - a vestige of British colonial rule - had prohibited homosexual activities, but in 2018 the law was ruled unconstitutional and repealed by the Indian Supreme Court.
Re-envisioned by music producer Devesh Sodha, Unashamed is a heartfelt coming-out ballad with vocals by Khela, who also stars in the show as Amar.
The song has a personal resonance for him: “Writing Unashamed was therapy for me. It was written at a time when my mum accidentally found out about my sexuality, and she found it very difficult to accept it. I didn’t have anyone to speak to, and so I poured all my feelings into the song. I took a universal approach when writing it, so this song will speak to anyone who has been made to feel inferior.”
Devesh Sodha added: “When Robby spoke about the song, I could sense from the way he was feeling that the music should capture the emotions of someone afraid, and how they find courage to overcome their fears with love.”
Making its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre from 14 to 21 September, Stardust is the UK’s first South Asian-led theatre production to feature a same-sex marriage.
Khela stars as Amar, a young British Asian singer trying to make his mark on the mainstream music scene.
The character of Amor, meanwhile, is the Whitney Houston of the Bollywood music industry in the late 1980s. She is silenced when she uncovers an explosive secret involving her music producer and husband, Cyrus. Thirty years later, Amar is plunged into an extraordinary journey when he discovers Amor’s songs, culminating in a chilling encounter with Cyrus...
Director Sâmir Bhamra said: “It’s taken a long time to make this show because attitudes towards Asians being gay are only slowly shifting. A lot of South Asian countries that were colonised have inherited archaic British laws, meaning that homosexuality has remained illegal until quite recently.
“But as attitudes in those countries start changing, we can see that shift begin to permeate here too. We want to be part of helping to shape a more progressive society and a more progressive South Asian community in the UK.”
Stardust premieres at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, from 14 to 21 September as part of the B2 season of Love And Belonging. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or by visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper. Book for two or more participating shows together to claim 20% off your tickets.
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