Celebrating 100 years of Dilli in aid of HelpAge India under its aegis “Stage for Age“, Living Room Theatre (LRT) brings to you “Badshah Rangeela“. A 120 minute historical, extravaganza celebrating 100 years of ‘Dilli’ complete with dance, music and poetry. The show will première at Shri Ram Centre this Friday March 15 and will have consequent following shows on March 16 & 17 at the India Habitat Centre and on March 23 & 24 at Epicentre (Gurgaon). Tickets are available at Venue. Part proceeds from the productions will go to HelpAge India, towards the cause of the elderly.
Written and directed by theatre veteran Sarita Vohra, as part of celebrating the national capital’s 100th year anniversary, Badshah Rangeela is a reflection of life for many of Delhi’s senior citizens who grew up hearing stories of a “Dilli” dating back to the time of Emperor Mohammed Shah Rangeela. Based on the life and times of the Mughal Emperor, a time when Nadir Shah invaded India and plundered Delhi. Even as Badshah Rangeela frittered away the wealth extracted from the peasantry – his legacy as a connoisseur of fine arts, music and dance remains in India. Interspersed with dance, music & songs the play promises to enthrall the audience transporting them to another time and space.
Teekam Joshi, well known NSD actor, hopes to enthrall the audience with his portrayal of the legendary “Badshah Rangeela” and the music & vocals of popular Pakistani Sufi singer Shafqat Ali Khan and Vidya Shah promise to take you into another era of royalty along with the mesmerizing choreography of Kathak exponent Astha Dixit.
Spreading the message of “Active Ageing’ the age of the cast varies from 70 years to a 10 year old child. Veteran Actor, Swadesh Mahan is 70 plus and is a living example that “Age is no barrier to living ones dream”.
“The cause of the elderly is very close to my heart, that’s why HelpAge India. In our own small way we hope to bring a smile on the faces of our elderly and spread the message of the cause. Through this play I hope to re-kindle the time our elders grew up hearing stories about. My association with HelpAge has been a long one, since 2004, for me theatre is a medium not just to promote talent but also to raise awareness about relevant issues. My first play for HelpAge was “75 Not out” it was a comedy with an underlying message, which dealt with the positive spirit of senior citizens, their never-say-die attitude to life. I believe that their needs, their desires, their tribulations, need to be showcased, so people are sensitive to the elders around them,” says Director, Sarita Vohra.
“This is the 6th play LRT has staged in aid of HelpAge India. We are grateful to the LRT team and Ms. Vohra for donating part proceeds from the play to the cause. Theatre is such a strong medium of awareness, that through entertainment it involves the audience and makes them sit up and think. HelpAge always urges seniors to lead active and productive lives, some of the actors in the play are elders and HelpAge salutes their spirit,” says Sonali Sharma, Joint Director, Communications, HelpAge India.
Story line: Synopsis/Content
“Badshah Rangeela“, begins with Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan’s rendition of poet Mir’s brief commentary on the Mughals. It has been 12 years after Aurangzeb’s death and the people have seen several Mughal kings come and go… yet in Chandni Chowk people sing in praise of their city.
‘Mian Dhindorchi’ – the local ‘master broadcaster’ brings news that the 17-year-old Mohammed Shah has ascended the Peacock Throne. The people of Delhi feel very happy and hope is born anew. Mohammad Shah begins his reign with tremendous enthusiasm and zest. He is very concerned about the prevailing conditions of his people and warns his ministers about the enemies around.
But he gets so immersed in song, dance and kingly splendour that he succumbs to a vicarious lifestyle and shuns his kingly duties.” Nadir Shah – a humble shepherd’s son, who rises to become the Shah of Iran – is informed of Mohammed Shah’s weakness and the immense wealth stored in the vaults of the Red Fort. He exploits the situation and seizes this opportunity to invade India… demands a huge compensation which Mohammed Shah is unable to pay. The ignorant Mughal Badshah gives Nadir Shah a splendid welcome. The people of Delhi are shattered and demoralized and they resent Nadir Shah’s presence in their city. Delhi is tense. This tension leads to skirmishes in Chandni Chowk, where some of Nadir Shah’s soldiers are killed. Nadir Shah takes his revenge and plunders Delhi. Delhi, which was a “traveller’s delight”, becomes a “smoking ruin.” After a stay of two months in the capital, Nadir Shah finally returns to Iran taking with him the Peacock Throne, the Kohinoor Diamond, and the wealth of eight generations of Mughal kings.
Enacted by a cast of 36, with some in multiple roles, songs, dance, poetry and music abound in this play. Music, a medley of various musical styles, eg Thumri, Khayal, Qawalli with a blend of folk; an authentic depiction of the time. Colourful costumes and sets still give a clear picture of the glory of the Mughal era.
The storyline is simple and the language neither Persianised Urdu nor Sanskritised Hindi… it is Hindustani… a language we all understand. The poems used in the ‘Mushaira’ sequence are also easy to comprehend.
About Helpage India
HelpAge India is a leading humanitarian, development and campaign organization working with and for older people in India for the more than 30 years. It advocates strongly for their cause and supports & also runs age care programmes throughout the country to make lasting improvements in the lives of disadvantaged older persons. It strongly believes in the potential of the elderly and their undeniable contribution to society. It also advises & facilitates the government in formation of policy related to the elderly. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
For more details, contact Sonali Sharma – 9810676562