Stage Door News

Toronto: Starvox Entertainment announces cast of North American premiere of “Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical”

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Leading live-entertainment company Starvox Entertainment, Bend it Films and Kintop Pictures in association with TO Live, are thrilled to announce the cast of their upcoming North American premiere production of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM:The Musical. Arriving in time for the holiday season with a limited engagement December 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020 (Media night: December 17) at the Bluma Appel Theatreat the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts, rehearsals are underway in Toronto now with a diverse cast of performers from Canada, the UK, and US.

In the roles made famous by Parminder Nagra and Kiera Knightley,rising stars Laila Zaidi and Catarina Ciccone will play the roles of Jess and Jules.  Zaidi hails from the UK where she starred in the ITV comedy Benidorm as well as productions of Starlight Express and West Side Story; Ciccone is a familiar face to local audiences having starred in recent productions of Guys and Dolls, Drayton Entertainment’s Hairspray, and in Starvox Entertainment’s acclaimed production of Queen and Elton John’s We Will Rock You, playing Oz.

Zaidi and Ciccone are joined by Nicola Dawn Brooks (Joya and Saltimbanco/Cirque du Soleil, Kinky Boots/Mirvish) as Jules’ mum Paula; UK actor Ashley Emerson (The Princess Switch/Netflix,Mamma Mia) as soccer coach Joe; Sorab Wadia (Monsoon Wedding, Kite Runner, 30 Rock) is Mr. Bhamra; Zorana Sadiq (Beauty and the Beast/YPT, Toward’s Youth/Crow’s Theatre) is Mrs. Bhamra; Matt Nethersole (Brigadoon, The Horse and His Boy/Shaw Theatre) plays Tony; and UK actress Blythe Jandoo (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin/Disney) plays Pinky.

“I am thrilled with how the cross-continental cast has come together,” says Starvox Entertainment Founder and CEO Corey Ross.This is such a talented group with two incredible rising stars in the leads - just as the movie had when it premiered. The cast is a diverse and dynamic representation of east meets west and I know they’re going to bring unbelievable energy and magic to the production.”
Indo-Canadian performer and choreographer Krystal Kiran also joins the ensemble as a performer and choreography consultant.  Kiran toured internationally as a lead performer in AR Rahman’s (Slumdog Millionaire) JAI HO, has provided choreography to major film productions including Hairspray and The Love Guru, and was the youngest South Asian woman to perform on Broadway to date when she starred in Bombay Dreams.
A heartwarming musical comedy about bending the rules and living life on your own terms, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: The Musical is a vibrant and colourful story about a teen girl from a South Asian Sikh family who desperately wants to play soccer, against the wishes of her traditional immigrant parents. Set in West London, the story follows two teenage girls from different backgrounds who share an aptitude for soccer and pressure from their families to conform. Like the film that won over millions of hearts worldwide, the musical marries contemporary British and South Asian music and dance, the joy of discovering your passion and fighting for it, an irreverent sense of humour, and a healthy dose of girl power.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: The Musical is based on the juggernaut film of the same name, which first debuted in the UK in April 2002. The film dominated the British weekend box-office for several weeks going on to make over $11 million (British pounds). BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM opened in North America in March of 2003 and was a surprise critical and popular hit, ultimately grossing $76.6 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing Indian-themed film since Gandhiand kickstarting the careers of Parminder Nagra and Kiera Knightley. Notably, it was also the first feature film directed by a British South Asian woman.
The musical made its West End London World Premiere at the Phoenix Theatre in May of 2015 where it ran for a year and received critical raves. Variety said the story worked even better on stage and called it a sympathetic portrait of adolescence, a hearty celebration of multiculturalism and a big fat feminist hell-yeah... It’s what you wish the West End were like all the year round.” The Guardian cheered, “..with catchy music, fantastic design and great performances, the ebullient musical looks sure to be a hit” and of the music said [the] east-west bhangra fusion serves the story ebulliently.”  “This is the most irresistibly joyous musical-theatre make-over of a much-loved movie sinceBilly Elliot,” proclaimed The Independent.
The book for BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: The Musical is written by Gurinder Chadha and writing partner Paul Mayeda Berges, with lyrics by Charles Hart (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love), music by Classical Brit Composer of the Year winner Howard Goodall,and produced by Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham, Mysterious Benedict Society, Buena Vista Social Club.) Chadha directed the West End production.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM will be on stage in Toronto at The Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts from December 2, 2019 to January 5, 2020. (Opening night: December 17). Tickets are available from $49.95 to $299.95.

For more information and tickets visit


December 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020Opening Night: Tuesday, December 17
Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E.

Single tickets range from $49.95 - $299.95
(Prices include per ticket fees.  Order/delivery fees may apply)
Tickets are available online at, by calling 1-855-872-7669,
or in person at the following Civic Theatres Toronto box offices:

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts Box Office 27 Front St. E., Monday-Friday, 12pm – 6pm
Toronto Centre for the Arts Box Office, 5040 Yonge St., Tuesday-Saturday 1pm-6pm

Ticketmaster phone lines operate 9:30am – 8pm Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm Sundays and holidays. On-line sales operate 24 hours per day. 

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