Mughal-e-Azam stage version to go on the boards next month

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Feroz Abbas Khan.. A technically superior production.

A technically-sophisticated theatrical production of the perennial love story of Mughal-e-Azam will be go on the  boards in Mumbai next month.

The man behind the project is  filmmaker-stage director Feroz Abbas Khan, also popular  for plays like “Tumhari Amrita” and “Saalgirah”, had thought about adapting the 1960 film “Mughal-e-Azam” long time ago, but certain limitations held him back from materialising the project.

“The musical will premiere in Mumbai on October 21. “When I had a conversation with the officials of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, they were very excited about it,” Khan said.

The next step was to approach the people who had the rights. “So, we went to Shapoorji Pallonji and asked them for rights. They decided to be our partner. When they got together, it got slightly easy for me,” he said.

According to the producer the budget will be very high. The costumes will be done by Manish Malhotra while  choreography will be handled by Mayuri Upadhya. Classically-trained kathak dancers from India will be in the cast in addition to the actors, who are not well known, but who can act and sing. Khan said he has access to outstanding technical support from New York.

Talking about the audience who will be attracted to a theatrical musical he says it is a popular genre and believes the popularity of the historical subject will lure the audience.

After the November 1 show in Mumbai It will be staged in Delhi also in the same month.

“In Delhi, it will be shown from November 25 till December 4 at the Siri Fort Auditorium. There is a lot excitement for it and I am very happy,” he said. Next he hopes to take the play to different countries.

The tragic romance has captivated many South Asian countries for many decades and the stage version of  by Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj in 1922 inspired the subsequent celluloid adaptations. The silent movie Loves of a Mughul Prince in 1928 by The Imperial Film Company had Sulochana as Anarkali, directed by Charu Roy and Prafulla Roy.

A film version was disrupted due to partition.  In the meantime Director Nandlal Jaswantlal came up with his movie Anarkali in 1953.   Tamil audience had their first glimpse of Anaarkali when Kannadasan incorporated a stage play Anarkali in the movie Illara Jyothi in 1954 as it was the norm of Tamil cinema at the time to have stage plays.

Inspired by the success of it P. Adinarayana Rao set about making his movie in Telugu and got it dubbed simultaneously in Tamil as Anarkali in 1955. The film became a hit in the south.

In Pakistan, another Anarkali film was released in 1958 with Noor Jehan in the lead role. – CINEWS

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