In all probability, you are as confused about the concept of the Nizam as the next Hyderabadi. Here's a Hyderabadi play at a Hyderabadi venue to throw some light.
The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation is presenting its new home production play, His Exalted Highness, at the Chowmohalla Palace on 15th March, featuring Mohammad Ali Baig as the city of Hyderabad & Vani Ganapati as Maya, The World.
The play is in English, but has been adapted from the original in Urdu, written by Ashraf Mehdi, and is based on the royal farmaans of Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. Mehdi has also penned the lyrics Yeh Hyderabad Hai Doston and the song is composed Karthik Raaja, the son of Illaya Raja.
His Exalted Highness, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, had in his reign issued farmaans (royal decrees) relating to many forward thinking, progressive and secular measures during his glorious rule. These farmaans are read on stage, and the preamble to these, set in the authentic settings of the majestic darbar hall of the palace, is given by a timeless, ageless woman presenter, who is symbolic of the world everchanging and all encompassing.
Another character, the city of Hyderabad, gets into a dialogue frequently with the world. There will be choreographed fusion numbers interspersing the scenes.
The play is written and directed by Mohammad Ali Baig, music by Karthik Illaiyaraja, lighting design by M S Sathyu, choreographed by Bharath Sharma, and the costumes are by Razia Baig & Lakshmi Devi Raj.
Mohammad Ali Baig carries on lines of the trend-setting pageants that his late father and theatre legend Qadir Ali Baig had pioneered in the early seventies. Mohammad Ali Baig is known for his epic scale international ad-films (Aditya Birla Group, Coke, Ford, etc). He is the President of Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation.
Vani Ganapati is the former Miss India and is now one of the most glamorous women in India. She performs and teaches Bharatanatyam. He is also a qualified interior designer. With no previous experience in theatre, this is her debut.
The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation was founded by Mohammed Ali Baig, an advertising wizard, in memory of his father Quadir Ali Baig who was a doyen of Hindustani theater. It was established in an attempt at revival of the theater which had lost its sheen. The foundation has on board danseuse Vani Ganapathy, artistes Rohini Hattangadi, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and Urmila Matondkar, lyricist Javed Akhtar and director M S Sathyu. The foundation not only stages plays regularly every month, but also imparts basic training in all aspects of theater so that young talent gets nurtured. Begum Razia Qadir Ali Baig, wife of Qadir Ali, is the chairperson of the foundation.
The entry to the play is by donor passes of Rs. 500 & Rs. 200 each. For further details, please contact 98499-69785.