Bagdad Cafe, a heartwarming tale of resurrection and friendship in the Nevada desert

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 It tells the story of two abandoned women from entirely different backgrounds, who form an unlikely friendship in a rundown cafe/hotel in the Nevada desert.

Bavarian tourist Jasmin (Patrycja Kujawska) wanders into the place after her husband leaves her stranded. Harassed Brenda (Sandra Marvin) is trying to cope with recalcitrant children and a broken coffee machine after her lazy husband Sal (Le Gateau Chocolat) drives off into the desert.

As Jasmin’s benignly efficient presence resurrects the cafe’s fortunes, love blossoms among the residents like a desert flower.

Adding music and songs to the film’s Oscar-nominated Calling You, Rice conjures a wonky theatrical wonder that reflects the big-hearted nature of the film, as well as the magic tricks Jasmin practises to entertain the customers.

Puppets, models and simple illusions add to the loose texture of the production enhanced by lovely performances and by Lez Brotherston and Vicki Mortimer’s extraordinarily detailed set that oozes rust, dust and tumbleweed.

Polished and slick it isn’t, heartwarming and humorous it most definitely is.

The Old Vic until August 21, tickets: 0344 871 7628

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