Archana Kumar: Married to a hit theatre comedy

Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding 2: Mauritius is a great British Asian success story masterminded by the show’s writer, producer and director Archana Kumar.

Archana Kumar

Asjad Nazir

HIT comedy play Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding 2: Mauritius has been playing to packed houses during another successful UK tour.

The current tour will conclude with a historymaking performance in London’s West End with a show at Adelphi Theatre on July 16. With nearly 100,000 tickets sold, it’s a great British Asian success story masterminded by the show’s writer, producer and director Archana Kumar. She also stars in the show and is rightly proud of all it has achieved.

Eastern Eye caught up with the cool creative to find out more about the remarkable show, its journey and future.

How do you reflect on your journey with the Mrs Kapoor plays?

Mrs Kapoor has just taken over. I feel so proud that it’s become a household name and managed to bring so much happiness and laughter to many. The fact that we will reach over 100,000 audience members on this tour is just the icing on the cake or as Mrs Kapoor would say, the chutney on the samosa.

Did you expect the shows to become huge hits?

From the minute I finished the script I knew this was going to be something spectacular, because there’s nothing like this out there.

It’s super relatable and so unique. With the blend of comedy, dance, music and a cultural experience, it was definitely going to be loved by the audience.

Why do you think the show has connected so strongly with audiences?

Every household goes through similar dramas and that’s why the audience can really relate to it.

It’s a show that brings in three generations, from kids, parents to grandparents and all can feel a connection. We include local references and trending topics to make it feel current and connective.

How does Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding 2: Mauritius (MKDW 2) compare to the first one?

We have really scaled up with MKDW 2 from the amazing sets that you see changing in each act, to the award winning star cast and the immersive experience. Just when we thought the first part was absolutely phenomenal, MKDW2 just brings on a whole new entertainment package and an unforgettable theatre experience.

How much of the show is inspired by real life experiences?

It’s definitely inspired from weddings I’ve attended and auntyjis we all know. That’s what makes it so much more fun and relatable. How do you balance writing, producing and directing the show with acting in it? It’s definitely a challenge, but I absolutely love it. I treat it like a big puzzle.

I focus on all the different pieces separately; the dancing, acting, script writing. Then when the time comes, I put the whole thing together to create the masterpiece.

How important was it for you to assemble such a talented cast?

So important, as the characters are key in bringing the script and my vision to life. We have assembled some of the most talented south Asian artists.

I feel so proud they have an opportunity to showcase their talents at some of the most renowned theatres in the UK.

In her play Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding 2: Mauritius

What is your own favourite moment in the play?

Oh my god, I have so many. If I must pick just one moment, it has to be the wedding day scene. It’s full of drama, and so cleverly put together – definitely a highlight for me.

How much are looking forward to taking this show to London’s West End?

I’m feeling so proud and excited for south Asians. This will be the first British Asian Gujarati theatre show to hit the West End. So it’s definitely going to be history in the making.

What does the future hold for the Mrs Kapoor franchise?

So, this is an exclusive, I’ve not mentioned this to anyone yet. I’m currently writing Mrs Kapoor’s third daughter’s wedding, and I’m so excited for this. Again, it’s going to be something that’s never been done in south Asian theatre, and I can’t wait for you all to see this.

What inspires you creatively?

Hanging out at weddings. I also absolutely love theatre, immersive experiences, reading, and dancing brings me lots of creativeness.

Why should we all watch the show?

It’s an immersive experience. For the very first time the theatre will be split in two, you can book your tickets from the groom or bride’s side. It’s interactive, so you will feel part of the big fat desi wedding. It’s hilarious, relatable, and full on entertaining. I would love to see more people come and enjoy this big fat Asian wedding and celebrate as we make history with Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding.

Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding 2: Mauritius is being staged at RNCM Theatre, Manchester, on Sunday (2), New Theatre, Cardiff (June 15), The Alexandra, Birmingham (June 23) and Adelphi Theatre, London (July 16).