Theatre Nisha to present Indira Parthasarathy’s play Aurangzeb in Chennai
The story of Aurangzeb is one of the most important chapters in Indian history, one whose end marked the start of a Medieval revolution and later the ascension of European powers in the country. In Indira Parthasarathy's play Aurangzeb, the author delves deep into the internal struggles faced by a ruler of an empire whose end is near, a feature portrayed wonderfully by Theatre Nisha’s Tamil adaptation of the same, which will be staged today and on Sunday, in association with Chennai-based group, Theatre Shraddha. The ten-member-cast play has costumes designed by Neela Krishnamurthy. Excerpts from an interview with V Balakrishnan, director of the play.
The political significance of this play makes it a very poignant one. This is a play that has not lost its ability to reach out and make the audience think for decades.
What are some of the highlights of Indira’s original script?
I think the clash of dreams of the father Shah Jahan and the sons Dara and Aurangzeb (played by Swami Nathan). Shah Jahan wants to build a black Taj Mahal, while Dara seeks to unify all the religions of India within one philosophical realm. However, Aurangzeb’s philosophy was ‘one country, one language, one religion’.
Were there any challenges you faced while adapting this?
The challenges were to allow the political conflict of the script to come out without overtly embellishing it with theatrics. Also, the script had to be edited and now runs for an hour and 45 minutes.
Where next for Aurangzeb?
Delhi and Coimbatore are in the fray.
At Alliance Française of Madras. May 10 & 12. Tickets available online.