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Demons and gods conjure up night of magic; REVIEW.

The Ramayana by Peter Oswald at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Birmingham until Saturday November 11.

THE TRADITIONAL Hindu tale of Rama and Sita gets a makeover in this retelling which is having its world premiere at Birmingham Rep.

The only way for the Hindu god Rama to conquer the demons is to come to earth in human form.

His battle takes on a new intensity when the ten-headed demon Ravana abducts Rama's wife Sita. Together with an army of monkeys and bears, Rama and his right-hand man Lakshman set out to save her.

Former TV Casualty heart-throb Gerald Kyd plays Rama, his charms not at all diminished by being painted blue all over and given hair extensions.

Andrew French makes an excellent Ravana, with nine other cast members joining him to create the ten-headed monster.

Fellow demon Indrajit, played by Arif Javid, is alternately comic and chilling when he appears in his murky house of horrors.

There's music, dancing, sadness, humour and excitement. Although a Hindu story, it makes some concessions to western humour when the monkey god Hanuman throws a banana skin for a demon to slip on and when Indrajit produces a frightened rabbit from his magician's hat.

Overall, the play provides an entertaining night out for all ages.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Wilson, Lucy
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 27, 2000
Words:213
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