Mushy’s story hits the road

Mushy’s story hits the road

A RAP-INFUSED play based on the life of former Thornhill Academy student Musharaf Asghar will begin touring this autumn. 

The new musical, titled ‘Mushy: Lyrically Speaking’ tells the tale of Musharaf, who won the hearts of viewers in the Channel Four documentary Educating Yorkshire by overcoming his stammer.

Thornhill Community Academy, where Musharaf attended school as a teenager, featured in the series in 2013. 

Four million people watched ‘Mushy’ speak publicly for the first time to his fellow students and teachers, and a Youtube clip of the speech has been viewed more than seven million times.

He was supported by teacher Matthew Burton – now the headteacher at Thornhill – who used music played through headphones to help him speak without stuttering.

Now 22, Musharaf has gone on to become a popular motivational public speaker. With music playing a crucial part in helping Mushy find his voice, the show will use lyrical narration written by Raxstar – a rapper from Luton. 

As well as chronicling the inspirational story of Musharaf overcoming the odds, the play looks at the highs and lows of the teen’s overnight fame. 

Musharaf 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.”

The play is written by Pravesh Kumar and directed by Ameet Chana, who is making his directorial debut. 

Pravesh 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, what is his story now? 

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

After runs in Watford, Slough, Birmingham and Northampton, the show will be in London at the start of October and is coming to Leeds Playhouse from October 8-12. For details visit

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