The joys of Hindi theatre

May 02, 2013, 00:07 IST | Dhara Vora

The third edition of Ananda, National Centre for Performing Arts' Hindi theatre festival includes the premiere of three Hindi plays

Lovers of Hindi theatre have three new plays by eminent theatre groups to look forward to at Ananda, National Centre for Performing Arts’ (NCPA) Hindi theatre festival. The groups behind these plays are Ank, Ekjute and The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation.

Quli–Dilon Ka Shahzaada, a period drama tells the story of poet-prince Quli Qutub Shah

“Dineshji wanted to do this play ten years back, he had even asked me put on weight for the character of Sumitravanti, but we didn’t end up doing it. This is the first time when he isn’t around for a new play,” reminisces Preeta Mathur, wife of late theatre artiste Dinesh Thakur of Ank.

Their play Mitro Marjani is based on Krishna Sobti’s novel by the same name. Speaking about it, she says, “For the time it was written in, it was a very bold topic about a woman who is open about her sexual needs. However, we haven’t adapted the book completely. Director Devendra Ankur has used the style of narration. The focus is on the language of the text, we wanted to bring the text alive; there aren’t even sets.”

Another eminent Mumbai theatre group, Ekjute, will stage Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan. Written and directed by Nadira Babbar, the play blends several human emotions — of happiness and tragedy, dreams and nightmares — of a bunch of young people who come to Mumbai to try their luck in films.

The third play, Quli — Dilon Ka Shahzaada is a period drama that tells the story of the founder of Hyderabad; poet-prince Quli Qutub Shah, and Bhagmati. Both belonged to different cultures, and this led to the birth of a city with its distinct identity. The production will see live qawwali and verses written by the prince himself, amplified by costumes, sets and music by K Illaiyaraja.

The play is directed by Mohammad Ali Baig. “We decided to go with theatre groups known for their Hindi plays, so we selected Ekjute and Ank. Both haven’t performed at Ananda before this, and are presenting unusual and good works for those who are keen on a different style of Hindi theatre. Quli in particular, is a grand historical production that needs to be seen in Mumbai,” believes Deepa Gahlot, Head of Theatre and Films Programming at NCPA.

From May 3 to 5; At NCPA, Nariman Point.
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