never realised how important networking is to businesses until very recently! So many people read my work and want me to revive whatever they have been working on or/know a close friend who would love their work promoted. I’m February of this year I reviewed the launch party of the soundtrack to the recently musical adaptation of David Williams’s ‘the boy in the dress’ and as a result of that, I was contacted by Irvine Iqbal who played Raj in the recording who I organised an interview with (which is available at https://fb.watch/6xHBFhySjC/ on west-end best friends Facebook page) Fast forward almost five months later he is now starring as a cast member in the brand new musical recording of Rumi. There may be over 7.6 billion on this planet but in the grand scheme of things it’s a small world and you never know if someone who knows someone that could be your next partnership/partner etc. Due to knowing one of the actors who would be appearing in the recording, I have been following the show for a little while and have been eagerly anticipating the moment the music is available and the time has now come!
Rumi is a new Musical based on the story of the 13th-century philosopher and poet of the same by Evren Sharma. It documents the journey that Rumi and his mentor Shams Tabrizi go on to greatness while having two contrasting personalities. The show asks the question “how much will the world have to pay to receive the gift of Rumi’s genius and spiritual legacy?” The creators of this show have thought about how to make this show as authentic as possible with classical south Asian musical motifs combined with classical musical theatre ideas. One of the best things about this show is that the cast is made up entirely of west end performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian. Thirdly the show also includes direct quotes for Rumi’s poetry that makes this a very authentic experience. All these elements mean that the show is not simply a tokenistic gesture but instead makes it clear that the team behind this show want to tell the honest story of this poet whom a western audience may not have heard of. It is additionally very impressive that the show was created during the current global pandemic we are facing so to create such a complete musical recording deserves praise on its own!
Generally, the music in this recording is very atmospheric and grand which draws you into the show instantly. This show is destined for the stage and how to be a theatrical experience to go through life due to how theatrical the music is. The overture of Rumi is a prime example of how the music draws you in and builds excitement for the show which in my opinion is one of the key purposes of an opening number and/or overture. Ramin Kairmloo sings throughout this recording and his vocals during “find my guide” were incredible to listen to. The idea of feeling lost and confused was perfectly performed/emoted making this a very emotionally powerful number. I enjoyed the duet “When” performed by Casey Al-shaqsy and Ahmed Hamad as the two voices worked perfectly together and the music itself is incredibly uplifting and empowering. I enjoyed the “mad man” as it was a nice contrast to the rest of the songs in this show. This number is incredibly character-based with endless amounts of energy and can imagine the theatrics. My favourite track however would have to be the finale number of the show as it perfectly tied together all the stories. Every character was given an opportunity to deliver their story/recap and all had incredible vocals!
Overall this is a musical that keeps respectful representation at the forefront with a musical that is authentic to the stories they are retelling. There are many incredible vocals performances through but also explores that crossroads of education and theatre that I talked about so much in my reviews! I would rate this show 5 out of 5 stars!