The Qadir Ali Baig Foundation is organizing its annual Theatre Festival
from the 27th October, which will continue till 12th November. The festival is a tribute to the Hindustani theatre personality, the late Qadir Ali Baig. It forms a part of the Foundation's initiative to revive theatre in town, and was designed by Mohammad Ali Baig, son of Qadir Ali Baig. The German Ministry of Culture, Goethe-Zentrum, Alliance Francaise and Seagram 100 Pipers are all associated with the festival.
As a part of the festival, an English play Mahim Junction will be staged on 29th October, at HICC. The play will begin at 7:30pm.
Directed by Sohaila Kapur, Mahim Junction is a mix of nostalgia and cinema, and is set in the '70s. Supported by Lata Bhasin and renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, the English musical showcases a time when heroes wore their hearts on their sleeves and rich villains puffed cigars in the mean streets of Mumbai.
The story is set in a slum that has encroached on a disused local train platform in suburban Mumbai. The motley crowd that inhabits the slum are Rahim, the local dada and good Samaritan, who is in love with Radha, the local belle who dreams of becoming a film heroine.
There is Bai, her harridan mother, who would rather sell her daughter to a lascivious old priest than allow her to marry the love of her life, Rahim, who is poor. The greed for money is concealed under the garb of religious differences. Then there is Ramu, Radha’s physically challenged brother, who is ready to sacrifice his life for his sister. Adding colour is Johnny the drunk, Rahim’s friend, who eyes Ayesha, the sharp-witted cross dresser who is a street walker with a golden heart.
Then there is the villain of the piece, the film producer, DDLJ Kaladhanda, who counts womanizing, drug running and intimidating people as his virtues. Kaladhandha uses Randy Bhai, a relatively innocent Harvard graduate and an NRI raring to do his bit for the country, to further his diabolical schemes. DDLJ is aided in his schemes by his chamcha Chhotu, the perennially side-lined side-kick, who ultimately sacrifices his love for the hero.
The musical incorporates 2 stories, a love tale between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy, and that of Kaladhanda, who provides the political sub-text. The stories are brought together in Bollywood style, for a happy ending. Mahim Junction is a tribute to the resilient spirit of Mumbai, and also to vintage Bollywood.
Tickets are priced at Rs. 1,000, Rs. 500 and Rs. 200. Please contact theatrefoundation[at]cineworksindia[dot]com for further details.