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28 October 2014

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Theatre and Dance

Bollywood Jane
Bollywood Jane

Escape to Bollywood

Leeds-born Nichola Burley plays Bollywood Jane, a disenchanted teenager who becomes immersed in the magic of Bollywood.

This will be 20-year-old Nichola’s first role on the professional stage although she has previously appeared in two compelling BBC films. Born Equal (with Colin Firth and  Robert Carlyle) and Love And Hate.

She still ives in Harehills and went to Intake High School and studied performing arts, she left school in 2004.

How does she feel about talking such a leading role in her debut?

"I am alright, although still nervous because the thought of what I am about to do is scary.

"I think I bought the most tickets for the first night for all my family and friends!

"After my TV and film work I've found rehearsing for the stage has been different and I've need a lot explained - but I've learnt a lot.

"You just have to throw yourself in and get on with it.

"When I auditioned for the part of Bollywood Jane I was busy doing other projects and I didn't really get time to dwell on it. I went away for filming and came back to find I'd got it.

"The play is two hours long but I can tell you it really flies."

Bollywood dancer
The colour and magic of Bollywood

As well as local girl Nichola, there are 40 people from the community starring in the play, 20 are seen in colourful dance sequences on any one night. So Bollwood Jane is a very local production rooted in West Yorkshire.

In the play Jane is 16 and not from a supportive family - her mum keeps telling her she was born on a one-night stand. She moves around a lot with her mum and then ends up in Bradford's Manningham district. It is here Jane meets Dini who introduces her to  Bollywood. It provides Jane with an escape.

"When she wants to get away she goes to Bollywood in her head. Bollywood lets her use her imagination. And she has to escape a pretty horrible real life. The play is the story of a tricky life, Jane's mum treats her like a child one minute and then expects  her to behave as an adult, all grown up."

Despite the hard work and pressure of her role according to Nichola there is a real advantage to starring in her home town.

"The best thing is being home here in Leeds, I like being me and being at home. I think  a fondness for home happens when you are away a lot."

Currently Yorkshire is playing host to the 2007 International Indian Film Awards and Bollywood Jane forms part of the Fringe Festival for this international event.

Bollywood stars in action >
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The Bollywood sequences feature original footage and music from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge one of the highest earning Indian films of all time, it recently entered its 600th week of continuous run at a cinema in Mumbai. Audiences will also be treated to snippets of current Bollywood blockbusters during the interval of the play.

Bollywood Jane runs at the WYP until Saturday 30 June 2007.

last updated: 05/06/07
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