West Bengal Urdu Academy is organising the 2nd National Urdu Drama Festival (Celebration of Theatre) in the city which to be inaugurated on December 26 at 5 pm presided by Prof Syed Manal Shah Alquadri, Vice Chairman, WBUA, with chief guest Arpita Ghosh (MP), and guests of honour being Janab Md Nadimul Haque, (MP, Chairman Finance Committee, WBUA), Janab Mushtaq Kak (Eminent Theatre Director) and Uma Jhunjhunwala (President, Little Thespian).
The first play to be scheduled is Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada by Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation, Hyderabad.
About the play
It is based on the historic love-legend of the founder of the cosmopolitan and heritage-proud South Indian city of Hyderabad, poet-prince Quli Qutub Shah and his dancer-singer beloved Bhagmati. With a blend of fine and performing arts, embellished with Indian classical and shadow dances, period sets and costumes, the play takes the audience back in time to the 17th century Indian kingdom of Golconda through a philosophical tale of true love. Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada has been the toast of prestigious theatre festivals and venues in India, Canada, France, Turkey, UK and USA.
The play to be staged on the second day is titled Ishq Malangi – based on Sh Khalid Hussain’s two stories, dramatized by Pritam Katoch – it is designed and directed by Mushtaq Kak from Amateur Theatre Group, Jammu and Kashmir.
About the play
The play Ishq Malangi is a portrayal of the eternal love of those who have no desires or lust but only loyalty, dedication and deepest commitment towards their loved ones. The beloved is not necessarily a human being, it can be the Creator of this world, the beloved of all those who believe in harmony, peace and brotherhood. The story of the play dates back to 1940 when Jammu city was a small town in the present Jammu and Kashmir State.
The next play on the same day is Akhiri Raat directed by S M Rashid from Universal Little Theatre, Kolkata.
About the play
Kishore has been granted death penalty in charge of murdering Seth Girdhari Lal, who had adopted him from an orphanage and proclaimed Kishore to be his only son. Though he had a daughter whom he has sent along with his wife to America for study, he had always all been careless about them. But Kishore gave her fatherly affection and always used to took utmost care of her. Girdhari Lal was not only an industrialist but a philanthropist; he had enjoyed a very powerful position in political arena too and had an important role in policy making factors of the nation. Kishore has enjoyed the same image as of Girdhari Lal who promoted him to the zeniths of politics and was being rewarded with most prestigious awards of the country for his services and patriotism. But now in the eyes of law he was a traitor.
The play on the third day of the festival will be staged at 6Pm. Titled Jin Lahore Nahin Dekheya Wo Janmaya Hi Nahin, the play is directed by Habib Tanveer form Naya Theatre, Bhopal.
About the play
The production is based on Asgra Wajhat’s play of the same name. After the partion, in 1947 Ratan lal Johri’s Mother refuses to move out of her house in Lahore. This house has been officialy alloted to sikander Mirza of Lahore, and his faimly. She has no objection whatsoever to a Muslim faimly living with her, but on no condition will she move out of her own house. Slowly this woman is come to be loved by everybody and is fondl addressed as ‘Jagmai’ (unversal mother). The day she dies, question aries about her last rites – to be cremated as per her religion. This decision however is not liked by the local goons and they kill the maulvi.
This story arose out of an actual incident in Lahore which was reported in the Delhi Daily Pratap The director decided bring the two corpses on the stage to unravel the deep dimensions of fundamentalism. A whole violent situation erupts on stage, the likes of which we are witnessing all over the country even today. He has also moved charactors and dialouges around to heighten the intensity and profundity of the subject. he has used appropriate poetry of contemporary Urdu poets to add to the beauty of the play. These include ghazals by the famous Pakistani poet, Nasir Kazmi and Amrita Prtitam’s heart-rending Nazm renderd in her style.
Journalist, playwright, play produer, poet and director, Habib Tanvir’s name is one of the most well known and respected names in the field of theatre.
On the final day, Dhoka designed and directed by S M Azhar Alam from Little Thespian, Kolkata will be staged.
About the play
It is 2007 and Iraq is roiling under the American occupation. Fractured by warring political factions, threatened by Islamic fundamentalism, and preyed on by American industrialists, it is a place where the cry of a dying child often goes unheard. Against this backdrop, the Americans prepare to host the Conference for Democracy and the Salvation of Iraq, a glittering assembly of powerful Iraqis and Americans. But shortly before the conference is set to start, a little girl in search of her father is shot by an American soldier.
As an angry mob gathers, the American officer in charge, Captain Edward Alston, tries to make amends with the girl’s family, but is barred by his commander, Hektor Frank. Hektor harbours a secret past with the girl’s father, accused terrorist Omar Ahad, which he may be able to protect if he holds her dead body as ransom. At the centre of this chaos an intensely private drama of grief, revenge, and forgiveness unfolds, and as the turmoil tightens around each of them, we are led to question not only what comprises war and terror, but how, where, and by whom the real war on terror is fought.