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Diversity

If you're struggling with post-Olympic blues, here's the answer: a night out opposite the Olympic Park to see an iconic new musical, set in Stratford. It is a melange of culture, an explosion of colour, and an epic story line set alight with extraordinary singing and dancing. It is Stratford meets Bollywood. It is quintessentially London. I went to the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games just a few nights earlier, and Wah! Wah! Girls honestly equalled the stunning finale of London 2012 for spine-tingling vibrancy. If you couldn't be in the Olympic Stadium, do yourself a favour and get down to Theatre Royal Stratford before September 29th.

Written by acclaimed playwrite Tanika Gupta MBE (the first Asian woman to have her work premiered at the National Theatre), Wah! Wah! Girls is both a satire on, and a tribute to, Bollywood. Inspired by Tanika's own teenage journeys from London to India, where she watched the latest Bollywood films, Wah! Wah! Girls is a bold new British Bollywood experience. It follows the journey of Sita, a young girl from Leeds who tries to escape the honour code by running away from her abusive family. She seeks out a dance school in Stratfrord, and meets the woman who runs it, Soraya, an East Londoner brought up in an Indian village and sold as a girl by her alcoholic father.

The title, Wah! Wah! Girls, refers to the 16th century courtesans of Mughul India who were known as Mujra dancers; trained in the fine arts of traditional Indian dance, and the timeless art of seduction, they often became lovers of wealthy aristocrats. Soraya has been trained in this tradition (after her father sells her), but is challenged by Sita who arrives at the dance school, and wants to meld Kathak dance with hip hop. The result is spectacular, an extraordinary hybrid of art and culture that has London stamped all over it. No wonder Wah! Wah! Girls was chosen to be part of the London 2012 Festival to partner the Olympics.

Born of a partnership between Sadler's Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford, as part of World Stages London, it exudes world-class talent. The choreography for a start is mind-boggling and awesome. The music is inspired and creates a new Anglo-Asian genre. The costume and sets on their own are worth going to see, truly magical creations by the ever-talented Keith Khan (artistic director for the Queen's Golden Jubilee). And the cast are jaw-droppingly talented: each of them amazing actors, singers and dancers. So do yourself a very big favour and buy a ticket now. Apart from anything else I hope we support our creative heroes the way we support our sporting heroes. And Wah! Wah! Girls won't disappoint: it is a gold medal performance.