Happy Birthday Sunita is written by Hollyoaks star Harvey Virdi and is the massively well-liked 2014 play from Rifco Theatre Company. It options a recent line-up of feminine leads and a brand new script which goals to seize the complicated household dynamics of the Johal household in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world.
Digging deeper into the characters and the relationships between them, the 2023 model stars Indian TV and movie actress Divya Seth Shah (Goodbye, Duranga, Jab We Met) who takes on the position of Tejpal, the matriarch of the Johal house.
Leicester-based actress Bhawna Bhawsar (Eastenders, Emmerdale, The Undeclared War) stars as Sunita, the reclusive birthday woman, and west London-based rising star Rameet Rauli (Eastenders, Little English) performs Harleen, Tejpal’s high-maintenance daughter-in-law.
The solid is accomplished by Devesh Kishore (Last Night, GH Boy and The Bone Sparrow) who performs Tejpal’s fun-loving son, a typical Punjabi mummy’s boy, and Keiron Crook (Coronation Street, Screw, and Violet) who performs Maurice, an east finish builder made good, who’s been engaged on Tejpal’s kitchen renovations.
When the Johals collect of their newly renovated kitchen for Sunita’s shock birthday party, it slowly emerges that every member of the family has been carrying a masks.
Confrontations erupt, and their masks start to slide. Secrets are revealed and the reality about relationships unravel. As every character confronts their reality, the household reaches a crossroads and should resolve the right way to reside their genuine lives.
Virdi, who is understood to followers as Misbah Maalik in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, stated: “Relationships might be onerous in any household dynamic. We all undergo ups and downs, and sometimes draw back from talking the reality. We are so apprehensive about what ‘individuals’ say and what ‘individuals’ will suppose that we overlook to take heed to ourselves and our households and what’s vital for us.
“In the play, everybody’s true selves begin to burst out after they least anticipate it. And it’s as much as the household to choose one another again up and have fun themselves for who they honestly are.
“If we let society and neighborhood maintain us again, then have we truly made the a lot of the one life we’ve been blessed with? It was an exquisite alternative to discover this facet of household life and present how being true and trustworthy with ourselves could make us stronger.”
Exploring themes of conventional gender roles, conformity, ageism and independence, the play has all of the drama, emotion and surprises of a household at breaking level.
Unexpected visitors, butter-free roti and skeletons within the cabinet aren’t sufficient to cease the household busting out some basic Punjabi shapes within the kitchen.
So, put in your birthday party finery and prepare for a samosa saga, as Rifco revives this sell-out comedy.
Happy Birthday Sunita 2023 Tour dates
5 – 12 May – Watford Palace Theatre
18 – 20 May – Northern Stage, Newcastle,
23 – 27 May – Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch
29 May – 03 June – Theatre Royal, Windsor
6 – 10 June – Royal & Derngate, Northampton
13 – 17 June – Leeds Playhouse, Leeds
20 – 24 June – Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick
28 June – 1 July – New Wolsey, Ipswich
3 – 5 July – Key Theatre, Peterborough