11:18AM, Wednesday 21 August 2019
In an uplifting tale of finding a voice, this new production follows the real-life story of Musharaf Asghar, who won the heart of the nation when he overcame his debilitating stammer in the Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire.
Mushy: Lyrically Speaking recounts the story of a young man overcoming the odds with the help of an inspirational teacher, then asks what happened next as the teen was hit by the highs and lows of overnight fame. With music playing a crucial role in helping Mushy to find his voice, the show will use rap and lyrical narration written by rapper Raxstar, and the book has been written by Rifco Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Pravesh Kumar.
Mushy: Lyrically Speaking is a Rifco Studio production presented by Rifco Theatre Company and Watford Palace Theatre.
Musharaf Asghar, also known as ‘Mushy’, was the star of Channel 4’s reality TV series, Educating Yorkshire. In amongst the chaotic comprehensive he was a 16-year-old impeded by an acute stammer which threatened to mute him. But thanks to his enthusiastic teacher, Matthew Burton, Mushy was at last given a voice.
The show’s finale revealed an empowered Mushy who spoke to his entire year for the very first time, no longer debilitated by his stutter – his teachers, fellow pupils and the show’s 4m viewers were brought to tears.
Musharaf Asghar said, “I’m really excited that Rifco Theatre Company is telling my story, everybody remembers the headphones moment but nobody really knows what happened afterwards. That one moment has changed my life and I hope that I can inspire other people like me.”
Writer Pravesh Kumar is the Artistic Director of Rifco Theatre Company. Pravesh said, “I first saw Mushy on a viral video online and his story really moved me. I started to think about what actually happened to him after the television programme. I contacted him and on the phone his confidence just really shone through and his stammer had almost gone. I met with Mushy and Matthew Burton over a few months and started to collect their stories, they were both so honest and forthcoming. We then took all the research into a workshop with actors and found that music played an important part of the narrative, and a new play infused with rap and lyrical narration was born.”
Director Ameet Chana, best known for his roles in Bend It Like Beckham and EastEnders, was recently appointed Rifco’s Associate Director to work on the Rifco Associates programme and Rifco Digital projects. This is Ameet’s directorial debut.
Lyricist Raxstar is a British Rapper from Luton who first came to prominence in 2005 with the song “Keep It Undercover” produced by long-time collaborator Sunit Music. Duality is an integral part of his identity as a British Asian, and his perspective allowed him to create songs like “Jaaneman”. He kicks off 2019 with his most personal project to date, Artbreak.
Mushy: Lyrically Speaking comes to The Curve, Slough, SL1 1XY
Tickets £18 from www.thecurveslough.com
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