Wednesday 22nd January through to Sunday 26th January sees the classic Bollywood Movie and Tale Umrao Jaan come to life in a theatre musical for the first time ever at the Sadlers Wells in London.
Umrao Jaan isn’t bound to any introduction. The epic story of a courtesan has been written in the pages of our Indian history and even canvassed on the silver screen twice. Legendary Indian Actress Rekha played Umrao Jaan way back in 1981 in a film with the same name helmed by Muzaffar Ali moreover in 2006, director J.P. Dutta made another film on Umrao Jaan’s life with 1994 Miss World and beautiful actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan where she played the titular role.
It is the first time ever that the life of Umrao Jaan will be showcased in a musical in theatre in London. The live music is composed by popular music maestro duo Salim-Sulaiman and the lyrics are penned by Irfan Siddiqui.
The musical is based on a novel Umrao Jaan written by the renowned Urdu novelist Mirza Hadi Ruswa and besides the courtesan, the characters Nawab Sultan, Gauhar Mirza and Khanum Jaan will also play eminent roles on stage.
Composer Salim Merchant says of the musical
“It’s a dream to recreate this epic musical! There is a lot of effort that has gone into the little nuances to take our audiences back to the early 19th century. It’s been sheer joy to bring the sound of ghazal & thumri live on stage,”
Rajeev Goswami the director continues
“As a director I couldn’t have asked for more! It wasn’t easy bringing back a story of the 19th century and making it look convincing to the audiences who today have the world at the tip of their fingers. Moreover, we adapted the book, breaking it down to scenes topped with managing not just acting but live singing and live music. I loved every bit of this challenge.”
Umrao Jaan is a journey of a courtesan, a story of love and struggle that is immersed in culture and opulence with traditional ghazals, thumris and qawalis.
So, come and witness this epic saga live on stage for the first time ever, a masterpiece that you have never experienced before. Relive and be a part of the traditional Lucknowi culture.