Wuthering Heights Gets Bollywood Makeover

LONDON ~ A British Asian theatre group is giving Wuthering Heights a Bollywood makeover, moving the tragic love story from the misty moors of England to the scorched Rajasthan desert.

Deepak Verma, a former star of popular British soap opera Eastenders, has turned the classic Emily Bronte novel into a stage musical with a Bollywood theme and hopes to see it move eventually to the big screen.

“The book was just perfect for adaptation. There are so many things about it that just fitted in with aspects of Indian culture,” Verma said. “What interested me is the ghostly, haunting aspect of the book.

“The Victorian values in the novel are also found in Indian society and the desert is a harsh place, just like the moors of Yorkshire.”

In the musical, the novel’s main male character, the brooding Heathcliff, has been renamed Krishnan, a street urchin who falls in love with the merchant who adopts him.

In the original, Heathcliff falls for Catherine, the daughter of the benefactor who plucks him from the mean streets of the northwest English port of Liverpool.

The London-based Tamasha theatre company has already started casting for the 12 roles and the production will tour eight British cities from March, including a four-week run at the respected Lyric Hammersmith theatre in London.

Verma, who is currently producing films in Britain, the United States and India, said he believed the musical would lend itself to a big-budget Bollywood production.

“I really want to get the play out there and then see what happens,” he said. “Hopefully it will be made into a Bollywood film. I think it would be perfect.”

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