The last Mushaira once again

Dec 07 2012, 17:35 IST
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SummaryThe mushaira will serve as a medium to showcase Delhi when it was on the verge of trans formation — during the first war for Independence

Next month, the Delhi audience will come face to face with some of the best Urdu poets from yore — Mirza Ghalib, Ustad Zauq, Daagh Dehlvi and Bahadur Shah Zafar — who will come together for “the last mushaira”.

The poetic congregation that took place at the Red Fort before the 1857 Mutiny will be recreated through the play Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaerah, which will be staged by Pierrot’s Troupe.

Apart from fine poetry, audiences will also witness the sense of humour of these poetic geniuses (as reflected in the repartee) and their interpersonal relationship. The play, which has veteran actor Tom Alter stepping into the shoes of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, will premiere on December 16.

M Sayeed Alam, writer-director of the play, says, “It is supposedly a hypothetical mushaira . The basic idea is to recreate an era that we have only heard and read about, with its entire socio-cultural and political milieu. The irony is that while it was a golden era for Urdu poetry, everything was degenerating politically.”

He adds that the play is largely based on a book titled Aab-e-hayat by Muhammad Husain Azad that delves into the history of Urdu poetry. The mushaira will serve as a medium to showcase Delhi when it was on the verge of transformation — in the wake of the first war for Independence. l

The premiere show will be held at Shri Ram Centre, Safdar Hashmi Marg, on December 16, 7 pm. Contact: 29944635 /9810255291

Taking

centrestage

Converging together on one platform, a wide canvas with an eclectic mix of 16 premiering plays in six languages, this year’s NCPA-AGP Centrestage Theatre Festival 2012, December 6 to 16, promises not only to entertain but also provoke the audience into thinking about various social issues. Well into its third year, the festival brings the the best of music, literature from across the country and the seven seas. This year the fest has been organised in association with Ashvin Gidwani Productions.

Toiling hard over the past couple of months, the endeavours of the team at NCPA helmed by Deepa Gahlot, Head Programming Theatre and Films, NCPA was made possible. At the preview of the plays to be staged, Gahlot admits that it was indeed a herculean task to get the various productions together. This year eminent actor Om Puri, after a hiatus of 30 years, makes a

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