Rifco Theatre Company’s acclaimed rap infused play Mushy: Lyrically Speaking will stream online on its Facebook platform on Friday 07 February at 19:30.

Based on the true story of Educating Yorkshire’s Musharaf Asghar, the teenager who captured the hearts of the nation, who rose to fame overnight when he overcame his severe stammer with the help of his inspirational teacher Mr Burton.
Infused with rap and lyrical narration by rapper Raxstar, and music by Niraj Chag, Pravesh Kumar’s play, directed by Ameet Chana toured in the Autumn of 2019 receiving rave audience and critical reviews for its inspiring performances, engaging storytelling and heart warming comedy.

Varun Raj as Mushy. Varun is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and the University of Winchester. He previously performed in the critically acclaimed, sell-out Dubailand at the Finborough Theatre, The Mouse, The Wolf and the Duck at the Unicorn, and has also appeared in the films Baar Baar Dekho and Gold.

Performing the part of his intuitive and passionate teacher, Matthew Burton, who embodied the lifechanging impact of good teachers, is Oliver Longstaff. He has starred several times at Watford Palace Theatre, in Absurd Person Singular and Sleeping Beauty.

Mushy’s Ammi (mum) is played by Medhavi Patel, who was nominated for the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Award for her performance in the UK tour of We Are The Lions Mr Manager with Townsend Productions. Other stage credits include Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree, Tara Arts and Polka Theatre’s first collaboration, which was also nominated for Best Theatre Production of 2019 by the Eastern Eye’s Arts Culture & Theatre Awards. On screen she has starred in Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Dogma 3: Only Girls (Channel 4) and Dogma 3: Snowman (Channel 4). She also appeared in the 2006 film Kidulthood.

Musharaf Asghar, also known as ‘Mushy’, was the star of Channel 4’s reality TV series, Educating Yorkshire. In amongst the chaotic comprehensive he was a 16-year-old impeded by an acute stammer which threatened to mute him. But thanks to his enthusiastic teacher, Matthew Burton, Mushy was at last given a voice. Mushy: Lyrically Speaking recounts the story known and loved by the public of a young man overcoming the odds, then asks what happened next as the teen was hit by the highs and lows of overnight fame. With music playing a crucial role in helping Mushy to find his voice, the show will use rap and lyrical narration written by rapper Raxstar, and the book has been written by Rifco Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Pravesh Kumar.

Musharaf Asghar said, “I’m really excited that Rifco Theatre Company is telling my story, everybody remembers the headphones moment but nobody really knows what happened afterwards. That one moment has changed my life and I hope that I can be an inspiration to other people like me.”


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