When Ghalib takes the stage
Peirrot’s Toupe (Delhi) and Kirdaar (Mumbai) are staging an Urdu and Hindi theatre festival in the city starting from today.
Titled Ghalib Festival: One Man, Three Plays, the event features plays like Ghalib, Ghalib Ke Khat and Ghalib in New Delhi, all three directed by Dr M Sayeed Alam. Two of these plays feature actor Tom Alter.
Among the plays, Ghalib in New Delhi, a Hindi-Urdu Comedy has more than 340 shows to its credit and has been performed all over India and abroad.
The Mumbai shows of the festival are brought by Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation. The play Ghalib is an account of the life and times of Mira Asadullah Khan Ghalib, with Tom Alter portraying the role of the legendary poet.
The play is punctuated with lots of music, poetry, literary anecdotes and historical episodes that make this play thoroughly entertaining, humorous, and a must watch.
Ghalib Ke Khat is a play on Mirza Ghalib’s friends, disciples, his wife (Umrao Begum) and his maid (Wafadar) reading and reviewing his letters.
Ghalib in New Delhi deals with Mirza Ghalib’s re-birth in 21st century New Delhi, highlighting his trials, travails and tribulations.
Speaking about the plays, Alam says, “The idea is to reintroduce Ghalib, his times, his life, his letters, his near and dear ones and most importantly, his relevance today.”
The festival has taken place twice before in Delhi — in 2011 and in 2012. However, this will be the first time that Mumbai plays host.
Alam adds that since the plays are in Hindi and Urdu, they will create better awareness about the importance of the language Urdu.
“The relevance of this language lies in it being the chief source of a very significant and a very long phase of Indian history. And one cannot depict an important era of our history, politics culture and literature without falling back upon Urdu. Most importantly, one cannot live in contemporary times by detaching oneself with one’s history,” he adds.
Alam intends to organise the Ghalib Theatre Festival in Bhopal, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Lucknow as well.
Time 7.30 pm onwards
On Ghalib (today), Ghalib Ke Khat (November 16), Ghalib In New Delhi (November 17) at Rangsharda Auditorium, KC Marg, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W).
Ticket R750 to R200