Sue-pendous! Hyde woman’s stage show to tour

A HYDE woman has turned playwright with her first children’s theatre show.

And it will be seen near where she grew up with a performance in Stalybridge.

Ria Meera Munshi is known more for dancing, having taught the moves shown in Bollywood films to hundreds of people, including the cast of Hollyoaks and The Real Housewives of Cheshire.

Now the 32-year-old, whose firm Ri Ri’s Dance Academy is based in Manchester, has added another string to her bow.

A bow that already includes breaking a world record for having the most people dancing a Bollywood routine at the same time and starring in an Indian TV advert for British Airways.

For her first production, Sue & Sita, launches in October before touring venues around Greater Manchester- including Stalybridge’s Astley Cheetham Art Gallery – and the north.

Ria Meera Munshi

And Ria already has the writing bug as she said: “Although I have written poetry in the past, this is my first piece of children’s theatre and I am already itching to write my next!“Sue & Sita was a lockdown project. I was fortunate enough to keep busy with online bookings throughout the pandemic, but it doesn’t compare to preparing a piece of work to be delivered face-to-face in front of a live family audience.”

Sue & Sita, which premieres at the Z-arts centre in the Hulme area of Manchester, uses puppetry and dance to retell a classical Indian tale.

Developed over Zoom during the first lockdown, it tells the story of a little girl called Sue who goes on a magical journey and discovers she has more in common with the goddess Sita than she could have imagined.

Ria, a Gujarati Hindu who worked with playwright and poet Louise Walllwein, says that the character of Sue is not based on herself, but that the two share a love of dancing and everything colourful.

She added: “Sue & Sita draws on the Hindu tale of Ramayan. This story, as well as Lord Ram, Sita Maa and Hanumanji are all Hindu idols who are close to my heart.

“The intention was to bring Sita into the modern world, creating a strong, independent, warrior goddess who is, in turn, inspirational to the younger generation.”

Sue & Sita launches on Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23 at Z-arts, Stretford Road, Hulme, before heading to Waterside, Sale (October 24), Touchstones, Rochdale (October 26), Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, Stalybridge (October 27), The Boo, Rossendale (October 28), Kala Sangam, Bradford (October 30), Square Chapel, Halifax (October 31), Octagon, Bolton (November 5), Oldham Library (November 6) and The Old Courts, Oldham (November 7).

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