A rap-infused play inspired by a true story is coming to Watford next month.

In an uplifting tale about finding your voice, this new production follows the real-life story of Musharaf Asghar, who won the heart of the nation when he overcame his debilitating stammer in the Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire. Mushy: Lyrically Speaking comes to Watford Palace Theatre from Friday, September 6, to Sunday, September 15.

The play recounts the story of a young man overcoming the odds with the help of an inspirational teacher, 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, 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. The show’s finale revealed an empowered Mushy who spoke to his entire year for the very first time, no longer debilitated by his stammer; his teachers, fellow pupils and the show’s four million viewers (plus the seven million more who watched the YouTube clip) were brought to tears. Mushy now attends events up and down the country as a motivational speaker and a young, positive, Muslim role model.

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.”

Writer Pravesh Kumar is the Artistic Director of Rifco Theatre Company. His theatrical directorial debut was in 2000 with a UK tour of Bollywood - Yet Another Love Story and he has gone on to achieve critical acclaim for Rifco Theatre Company’s productions including Pyar Actually, The Deranged Marriage, Laila The Musical and Britain’s Got Bhangra. His first short film, Gods On Mountains was nominated for the Satyajit Ray Short Film Award in 2009.

Pravesh Kumar said: “I first saw Mushy on a viral video online and his story really moved me. I started to think about what actually happened to him after the television programme. I contacted him and on the phone his confidence just really shone through and his stammer had almost gone.

“I met with Mushy and Matthew Burton over a few months and started to collect their stories, they were both so honest and forthcoming.

“We then took all the research into a workshop with actors and found that music played an important part of the narrative, and a new play infused with rap and lyrical narration was born.

“I’m genuinely excited about Mushy: Lyrically Speaking, it’s a rare story about a boy finding his voice.”

Lyricist Raxstar is a British Rapper from Luton Town who first came to prominence in 2005 with the song Keep It Undercover produced by long-time collaborator Sunit Music. Duality is an integral part of his identity as a British Asian. 2018 saw the release of debut studio album Glass Ceiling with features from Arjun, Pav Dharia and Humble the Poet.

Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, Friday, September 6, to Sunday, September 15, various times. Details: 01923 225671 watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk