Anita And Me Take You On A Bittersweet Rollercoaster

Any production which starts with a Raleigh Chopper on stage gets my vote every day of the week, so Anita And Me had me on side from the word go. What followed was a roller coaster couple of hours which at its heights and depths was very moving, as it ranged from the ephemera of childhood friendships to racist violence.

The first half was a slow burner, but following a few widely appreciated jokes got into full stride with a musical number that brought spontaneous applause from an appreciative audience. The mood kept changing throughout, from saucy humour to serious issues to musical song and dance numbers. There were uses for tyres I certainly hadn’t expected to see in a show at The Grand – you’ll have to go along to see for yourself but if you haven’t read the book or seen the film you may be surprised.

The second half brought the racist tensions in a Black Country town fully into the spotlight. The language was increasingly robust, including terms that aren’t generally acceptable these days. The only weakness to me in this hard hitting storyline was that the victim of the violence, a Council planning officer, was initially a badly drawn character but this didn’t lessen the eventual impact.

Performance were generally very strong. Aasiya Shah had great energy and enthusiasm in the leading role of Meena. Shobna Gulati, well know from Dinnerladies and other TV programmes, provided the solid support you would expect. For me and it seemed much of the audience though the star of the show was  Rina Fatania as the larger than life Nanima.

If you are up for a bittersweet production tackling some of the biggest issues in modern Britain with sensitivity you can still catch up with it at The Grand if you are quick. There is a staging tonight at 7.30pm, whilst on Saturday there is a 2pm matinee as well as the evening performance. Bear in mind particularly for the matinee that there is very strong language and some violence. Tickets are available from £12.50 at blackpoolgrand.co.uk

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
  • Show Comments (1)

  • Andy Withers

    A brilliant show which had both serious and funny aspects throughout it. We were crying with laughter through parts of it and coming from the Black Country, it was “Bostin” to here our local lingo again. The actors have got the accents to near perfection

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