Benny and the Greycats

Madras Jazz GroupED

Benny and the Greycats is a personal and urgent new show that brings together theatre with jazz, 60s pop and contemporary composition to create a unique performance experience that connects the sounds and atmosphere of the industrial steel city of Sheffield with the landscapes and railways of South India.

This is a migration story inspired by Suzanne Gorman’s own family history and sheds light on the often overlooked Anglo-Indian community.

After playing in a swing band in Madras (now Chennai),  a family of  Anglo-Indians come to Sheffield in the 1960s. Their journey unleashes themes of migration, work, conflicting communities, mental health and the legacy of colonialism.

The piece was originally developed through the Open Lab at Barbican and then through a workshop week and early stage sharing at Sheffield Theatres.


Images from workshop at Sheffield Theatres

Our audience said

“The relationship between the family, mother and son especially was moving”

“Interesting and little explored story, Anglo-Indian v Indian/post empire fallout. Right to be challenging and real – the price of dreams can be high.”

“Great humour and very poignant story”

“Good challenging themes, the need to assimilate and integrate”

“Really interesting the way the characters’ stories open up the politics of the time but how that directly links to issues of today related to immigration, Brexit, diversity of Britain”

Our company said

I really want to see a true story of immigration with great music hit the British stage, a non-stereotypical story of immigrants in the UK to highlight the importance of our multi-cultural society.” ( Natasha Lewis)

“I think this musical shows us what it means to be British from a point of view that hasn’t been seen before. As such, it is a very important piece.”( Paul Sirett)

“I feel the piece is moving in a unique and exciting direction.”( Adam Samuel Bal)

“the family was symbolic for every single family in the entire world who have HAD TO MOVE

(forced) to seek survival and a future.” (Jason Patel)


Images from Barbican Open Lab


Photos of workshop week at Sheffield Theatres by Nadjet Ben Maghnia

Supported by Teale Charitable Trust