Sharona plays the dating game

IT USED to be so simple for young Asians – boy meets girl over a plate of samosas in Auntie Bilma s living room. Now there are all kinds of routes to finding the one . From introduction agencies and websites to speed dating, the path to true love never

IT USED to be so simple for young Asians - boy meets girl over a plate of samosas in Auntie Bilma's living room.

Now there are all kinds of routes to finding "the one". From introduction agencies and websites to speed dating, the path to true love never has been so complicated.

Where's My Desi Soulmate? is a new play which opens at the Theatre Royal Stratford East today (Tuesday) and brings together some of the finest talent in British Asian theatre.

It also sees the return of Sharona Sassoon, 29, an actress who lives in Glebelands Avenue, Newbury Park, and has performed at the theatre in Cinderella and The Deranged Marriage.

She says: "The play is based on a chat show format, and I'm the chat show host. Although it has an Asian cast, it is really about issues that everyone can relate to.

"It is a comic look at how people are going about finding love. There are lots of laughs and some beautiful, touching moments. One minute you are laughing, and the next your are really moved.

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"I've spoken to audience members and they've said they were surprised by that."

She adds: "I've been on girls' nights out, singles nights, and so much of the stuff rings true - the conversations people have."

She is joined on stage by Ankur Bahl, Pooja Ghai and Simon Rivers and between them they play more than a dozen hilariously love-struck characters.

The show has been touring and ends at Stratford, which pleases Sharona no end.

"The Theatre Royal is my favourite theatre. As a child I used to look at it and think, 'I really want to act there one day'.

"It has such a welcoming atmosphere thanks to the staff and the home cooking. Plus, it's only 20 minutes from my home, which is perfect."

Where's My Desi Soulmate? runs at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, until March 29.

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