Umrao Jaan is the epic story of a courtesan that has been presented twice on the silver screen once with the legendary actress Rekha way back in 1981 and in 1994 when Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played the titular role.
It is the first time ever that the life of Umrao Jaan will be showcased in a theatre musical that will have its premieres on May 21. The musical will have 10 shows in New Delhi between May to June 2019. 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 in the musical.
The director Rajeev Goswami says, “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. So breaking it down to scenes topped with managing not just acting but live singing and live music. I loved every bit of this challenge.”
The live music is composed by popular music maestro duo Salim-Sulaiman and the lyrics are penned by Irfan Siddiqui.
According to musician Sulaiman Merchant, “It is for the first time in India that a musical theatre performance with live music and singing is happening which will take Indian theatre production to international standard."
Music composer Salim Merchant says, “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 a sheer joy to bring the sound of ghazal & thumri to live on stage.”
Umrao Jaan is produced by Gravity Zero Entertainment.