Dubai will be witnessing the first ever plays on the era and aura of the Mughals soon at a Mughal Night that will showcase satire through Sons of Babur written by an Indian politician, author, and lawyer Salman Khurshid, to be staged on October 12. Another popular comedy, Ghalib in New Delhi will also be staged on the same day.
Both the plays will be performed by Pierrot Troupe, a theatre group based in New Delhi, India. In these times, when several theatre groups resort to slapstick comedy, Pierrot Troupe stages comedy plays with history and literature as their mainstay.
Talking about his play Sons of Babur, Salman Khurshid told City Times: "I have been reading about Mughals since childhood. I thought to come out with something different and wrote this play. To make it relevant today, I have put various perspectives of identity, religion, patriotism and gender issues in it."
Sons of Babur has been adapted by Sahitya Akademi Award winner Ather Farouqui and directed by Dr M Sayeed Alam, known for his penchant for historic and humorous plays. Renowned actor Tom Alter used to play the lead role before his demise in 2017.
Dr M Sayeed Alam, director of Sons of Babur and director and writer of Ghalib in New Delhi said, "Both the plays blend humour, history and histrionics. One will not have many opportunities in one's lifetime to do two such plays."
Ghalib in New Delhi is a rip-roaring comedy that has the great erstwhile Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, revisiting his beloved 'Dehli', now 'Delhi', in 2017 to witness and relish his posthumous fame. The entire plot revolves around Ghalib striving against an omnipotent identity crisis, beginning with the occupants of his 'haveli' mistaking him for Ghalib's 'jinn'. In desperate need of recognition, Ghalib decides to 'sell' himself. The consequent press conference turns out to be a damp squib with the journalists being more interested in post-conference snacks and juicy headlines. What is the fate of Ghalib? Does his rebirth spell further disaster? Is Delhi a mere travesty of his hopes and aspirations? Ghalib in New Delhi is said to be a comedy posing some serious questions about stagnating codes.
Ather Farouqui, translator, and scriptwriter for Sons of Babur, said, "It was quite challenging to put a play written in beautiful English into a language most suitable to represent Mughals. So with the permission from the playwright I prepared an abridged Hindustani version for the stage performance based on his translation of the play in Urdu."
. Sons of Babur, Ghalib in New Delhi
. Date: Friday, October 12
. Time: 5pm onwards
. Venue: Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School
. Tickets: Dhs300, Dhs145, Dhs105 and Dhs75