Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival off to colourful start

The festival is being held in an abridged format this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival
Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival

Hyderabad: The annual Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival got off to a colourful start with the staging of internationally-acclaimed play ‘Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada at the historic Moazzam Jahi Market, one of the city’s key landmarks.

The recently-restored Moazzam Jahi Market courtyard was the imposing backdrop for the staging of the play, a production of Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation.

‘Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada’ retold the love legend of King Quli Qutub Shah. Directed by Mohammad Ali Baig and written by Noor Baig, this heritage play has been staged at 50 international festivals around the world, including at the University of Oxford and the Edinburgh Fringe. The play featured Mohammad Ali Baig, Noor Baig, Rashmi Seth, Vijay Prasad and Qawwali by musicians of the Warsi gharana.

Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, unveiled the brochure of Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival 2020 in the presence of Begum Razia Baig, Chairperson of Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation, Commissioner of Department of Information and Public Relations, Arvind Kumar, and Principal Secretary (Tourism and Culture), K.S. Sreenivas Raju.

The rest of the festival will continue at the Radisson Blu Plaza from November 20 to 22 with five different plays by groups from Mumbai, Guwahati, Jaipur and Delhi.

The festival is being held in an abridged format this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prestigious festival, now in its 15th year, is curated by leading theatre personality Mohammad Ali Baig, a Padma Shri awardee.

The festival will see staging of plays from K.V. Subbanna, Heeba Shah, Mohammad Ali Baig involving actors Danish Husain, Bhageerathi, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Daulat Vaid and others.

Theatre lovers will be treated with plays like Danish Hussain’s ‘Dastangoi’, a delightful journey across cultures and continents through the traditional, vibrant storytelling format, K.V. Subbanna’s ‘Shakuntala Ke Saath Ek Dopehar’, a modern day look at Kalidasa’s heroine Shakuntala through a glimpse of an afternoon in her life, and ‘Striptease’, renowned Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek’s hilarious perspective of freedom and expression through this absurdist play about two middle class men who find themselves confined in a single space.

The other play is ‘Dona’, written by Arun Kolatkar and directed by Daulat Vaid. It is a lyrical poem drawn from an incident in the Ramayana. It highlights the ideological social distances between the young and the old as well as the ancient and the modern, while questioning if human culture is the best.

The festival will conclude with Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation’s ‘Alone’ written by Noor Baig and directed by Mohammad Ali Baig featuring Suchitra Krishnamoorthi. A dramatisation of Noor Baig’s short story, it is about a yesteryear star who during the pandemic lockdown reflects on her solitude and the many characters she has played in her life.

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