Shabana Azmi leads the stellar cast of a new family comedy coming to the north west next month.

Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre have announced the line-up for their upcoming production, Happy Birthday Sunita, a drama written by Harvey Virdi and created by Pravesh Kumar and Harvey Virdi.

Regarded as one of India’s finest actresses, Shabana Azmi will head the cast and play Tejpal, the matriarch of the Johal house.

Shabana’s illustrious career spans four decades. She is a multi-award-winning actress, including five National Film Awards for Best Actress, and has starred in more than 100 films, including Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children.

Shabana is embarking on her first UK theatre tour for Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre.

Rifco’s artistic director, Pravesh Kumar said: “It’s not often you get the chance to work with one of your idols.

“Shabana Azmi is a world-class actress with a unique and rare talent. “I am also excited to be working with some of the UK’s leading actors and actresses, Ameet Chana, Russell Floyd and Goldy Notay.

“As part of our continued passion to support emerging talent, we have newcomer Clara Indrani alongside a seasoned cast.”

The play is directed by Pravesh, who has developed the show with actress and writer Harvey Virdi.

Happy Birthday Sunita is set on the day of Sunita’s 40th birthday. The Johals have come together to celebrate.

Mum’s been working hard to make everything perfect, Nav and Harleen arrive bickering and Sunita’s nowhere to be seen.

As the curries simmer and rotis are smothered in full-fat butter, years of family drama bubbling under the surface start to boil over.

Playing Tejpal’s son Nav, Ameet Chana once again takes to the stage for a Rifco production.

Ameet has numerous stage, TV and film credits to his name including Adi Ferreira in Eastenders, Bend It Like Beckham, Run Fat Boy Run, East Is East on stage, The Djinns of Eidgah at the Royal Court Theatre) and Rifco’s Bollywood Yet Another Lovestory and Bollywood 2000.

Playing the part of Nav’s high maintenance wife Harleen is Goldy Notay.

Goldy appeared in There’s Something About Simmy and The Deranged Marriage.

Her TV credits include The Town and Warehouse 13 ), and stage work includes My Daughter’s Trial Tagore’s Women and Zameen.

Goldy also played Shabana’s daughter in Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife.

Newcomer Clara Indrani takes on the role of reclusive birthday girl Sunita.

Clara trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where she performed in a number of productions. TV credits include Hollyoaks and Gates .

Completing the cast is Russell Floyd as Maurice, the builder who has been renovating the Johal kitchen.

Recent stage credits include Hangman, The Wing, and Clockwork. Russell is also a familiar face on TV, as a regular on The Bill and EastEnders.

Happy Birthday Sunita is designed by Colin Falconer, with lighting by Mark Dymock and sound design by Nick Manning.

The UK tour of Happy Birthday Sunitai from October 7–11 at Oldham Coliseum Theatre. For tickets, call 0161 624 2829.