Devdas Play

The entire cast and crew at the launch of "Devdas," the play, by AGP World. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—“Devdas,” a novella by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, is probably one of the most famous love sagas in Indian literature. Translated into almost every major language, this novella has seen its glory in Indian cinema, with three versions (with K.L. Saigal, Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan) in Hindi alone. This time AGP World brings the classic on stage with all its grandeur.

This theatrical rendition has a universal appeal and is narrated by Chandramukhi, a glamorous courtesan and principal character. Directed by Saif Hyder Hasan and starring renowned actors Gaurav Chopra, Manjari Fadnis, Sunil Palwal, Sukhada Khandkekar, Bhavna Pani and Smita Jaykar among others, this 150-minute saga of love in its purest form is set in Calcutta (Kolkata today) in the 1900s.

This visual and musical extravaganza recreates the period in all its grandeur – t he time of opulent havelis and gas-lit busy streets of Calcutta. Following the ambitious path of “Mughal-E-Azam” the play, perhaps, this presentation has sets designed by National award-winning art and cinematic director Omung Kumar.

With classic and contemporary fusion dance performances choreographed by Shampa Sonthalia (daughter of acclaimed late Kathak maestro Padma Shri Gopi Krishna) and music by Bertwin Ravi D’Souza, the play has singers Shail Hada, Bhoomi Trivedi, Shaan, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar and Antara Mitra.

Said producer Ashvin Gidwani of AGP World, “I am thoroughly excited to bring this classic on stage. “Devdas” has witnessed several adaptations in Indian cinema, yet there is something about the epic that connects with the audience. A saga of love presented by multiple on-stage and off-stage talents, ‘Devdas’ promises to be a production never seen before on Indian stage.”

Director Hasan added, “This is the mother of all love stories. It is the peak of unfulfilled eternal love. The story has sustained itself for over 100 years and been adapted for cinema across languages for the sheer poetry and drama inherent in the story. Now on Hindi stage in all its splendor, it will move the audience by its spectacle and creativity.”

The show will be held at the NCPA, Mumbai from Nov. 16 to 25. The Light of Life Trust (LOLT), founded by Villy Doctor, will host the charity premiere show on day 1 and the proceeds from this show will go towards educating underprivileged children in rural India.

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