'Night at the Bombay Roxy', a glamorous theatre piece set in the 1940's helped launch the new Dishoom restaurant in Kensington, London, on 14th December 2017. Inspired by the book Taj Mahal Foxtrot by Naresh Fernandes, the play was conceived and written by Ollie Jones and Clem Garritty with Dishoom co-Founder Shamil Thakrar as the Creative Producer. Comprising a cast of Raj Aich, Vikash Bhai, Seema Bowri, Manish Gandhi, Sophie Khan Levy and Harmage Singh Kalirai, 'Night at the Bombay Roxy' is a story of love and betrayal in Bombay’s glamorous jazz age. Musicians include Laurence Garrat, Miguel Gorodi, Leon Greening, Dave Ingamells and Helena Kay.
Set within the Art Deco glamour of Dishoom Kensington, which is located in the old Barker's of Kensington department store building on Derry Street, the immersive Indian Noir experience of 'Night of the Bombay Roxy' was accompanied by a lavish feast of classic Bombay dishes such as Far Far, Vegetable Samosas, Bhel, Keema Pau, Chicken Biryani, Mattar Paneer, Black Daal, Kachumber, Raita, Naan, Kulfi or Bun Maska Pudding. Dishoom Kensington's speciality is spicy Mutton Pepper Fry and for vegetarians there is a delicious Jackfruit Biryani.
About Night at the Bombay Roxy
Night at the Bombay Roxy is set in the intriguing world of Cyrus Irani’s Bombay Roxy, a café and jazz club housed within a former Art Deco cinema, set in Bombay, 1949. Vikash Bhai plays the role of Cyrus, with Sophie Khan Levy playing the role of Ursula. They are joined by Raj Aich playing the role of Romesh, Seema Bowri as Farah, Manish Gandhi as Rudy and Harmage Singh Kalirai playing the role of the Inspector.
The jazz band features Laurence Garrat on double bass, Miguel Gorodi on trumpet, Leon Greening on piano, Dave Ingamells on drums and Helena Kay on saxophone and clarinet.
This talented ensemble of actors and musicians will transport the audience to the opening night of the Bombay Roxy set in 1940s Bombay, where an unexpected and exciting jazz scene was flourishing alongside a uniquely Bombay version of the Art Deco style (the city remains the biggest and best example of Art Deco architecture in the world, after Miami). Whilst Bombay’s architects and designers studied Western Art Deco, they redefined it by creating a distinctive Indian style. Jazz was first introduced to Bombay in the 1930s by touring American artists who opened the city’s ears to new sounds. Local musicians were quick to catch on, and by the 1940s ‘hot jazz’ was everywhere. This was Bombay’s glamorous jazz age, as told in Bombay-based author Naresh Fernandes’ critically acclaimed book, Taj Mahal Foxtrot – the inspiration for this play.
It is a close and heavy monsoon night on Marine Lines. Despite the weather, there is a jostling of people outside the Bombay Roxy. The club didn’t always have this pull or indeed its current reputation. The man behind the reinvention is the charismatic Cyrus Irani, whose name was once synonymous with Bombay’s racketeers, with murky allegiances, and with police escorts to Arthur Road Jail. But now Cyrus fully intends to put the Bombay underworld behind him. And his new venture, the Bombay Roxy, might just be his redemption.[Enter Cyrus Irani.]
Night at the Bombay Roxy has been created by Swamp Studios, an innovative theatre company, led by Ollie Jones and Clem Garritty (from the award-winning theatre collective Kill the Beast). Directed by Eduard Lewis, Associate Director of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (The Old Vic, 2015), the rest of the creative team includes composer Dom James, movement director Sara Green, lighting designer Christopher Nairne and sound designer David Gregory.
Dishoom pays loving homage to the Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost 400 of these cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Today, fewer than 30 remain. These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. They were the first places in Bombay where people of any culture, class or religion could take cool refuge from the street with a cup of chai, a simple snack or a hearty meal. People from all walks of life shared tables, rubbed shoulders and broke bread together.
Like the old Irani cafés, Dishoom breaks down barriers: in its restaurants, at its events, and through charity (donating a meal for every meal – 3 million meals so far). Dishoom serves a lovingly curated menu of Bombay comfort food and award-winning drinks in beautiful restaurants with unique stories. Everything Dishoom does shares its love for Bombay’s culture, heritage and people, and everyone is welcomed with warmth.
Dishoom is managed by a team of led by co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar. Naved Nasir is the Executive Chef. The first Dishoom opened in Covent Garden in 2010, and Dishoom now has four cafés in London and one in Edinburgh.
Dishoom Kensington, 4 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8 5SE.