A musical of David Baddiel’s 2010 film about Muslims and Jews, The Infidel, which starred comedian Omid Djalili, looks set for a stage run after the success of an online fundraising campaign.
An appeal on the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter this month reached the £55,000 target needed to subsidise performances at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London later this year.
Baddiel has co-written the show, about a Muslim cabbie who discovers he was born Jewish, with Erran Baron Cohen, award-winning composer of the music for brother Sacha’s films.
Baron Cohen said the musical was “based on the movie but some of the ideas have been expanded and the story has changed a bit. I’m excited it’s going ahead. It’s great that we have managed to get support from the fan base behind it.”
With songs like Put A Fatwa On It, Sexy Burka and Less Is More (about circumcision), the musical will be “edgier” than the film, Erran Baron Cohen says.
“It’s funny and moving at the same time – and it will be even more so once we have honed it in rehearsals.”
A year-and-a-half in the writing, it has been tried out on three occasions in workshops with actors.
While The Infidel will be Baron Cohen’s first musical, he says “I’ve always done improvised songs with my brother from an early age.”
One Baron Cohen number, Schvitzing, which involved a Chasidic striptease, once aired on BBC before Sacha’s rise to stardom.