Ambedkar Musical: Big Stage Ready; full first day shows

A grand stage adorned with themed props in a grand hall at JLN Stadium is ready to welcome guests for the spectacular musical about the life of social reformer BR Ambedkar from February 25, with the two opening day shows already on. complete.

Lead actor Rohit Roy of hit TV series “Swabhimaan,” who is trying out the role of Babasaheb in a Broadway-style musical, and other cast and supporting crew members did rehearsals on Tuesday on stage for the big musical, which will be presented from February. March 25 to 12.

The opening performance of “Babasaheb: The Grand Musical” hosted by the Delhi government will be attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and several Delhi cabinet ministers, officials said.

AAP lawmaker Atishi, who visited on Tuesday to provide an update on preparations, told reporters that all safety protocols given the Covid situation will be followed and therefore only 50% of Great Hall seats would be occupied. in any show.

The play will be performed twice a day at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The auditorium has a capacity of 2,000, but only alternate seats will be occupied, so around 1,000 people will be able to watch the show at any one time, she said.

The continuity of the shows will also depend on when the model code of conduct comes into effect, she said. Municipal polls in Delhi are due to take place in April.

Kejriwal previously said tickets would be available for free but people would have to book them in advance due to limited seating.

As of Tuesday, both opening day shows were sold out, a senior official said.

Lead actor Roy, 53, said, instead of trying to mimic Ambedkar’s look through makeup, “I tried to slip into his character emotionally, how Babasaheb would have said those lines, how would he have reacted to a particular situation.”

“The script is wonderful, which I keep doing over and over again to deliver the lines more effectively,” he said.

The play about the architect of the Indian Constitution will be staged on a 100ft arena featuring a 40ft revolving stage, which has been set up with a thematic design. Stagecraft also includes digital props and spectacular light and shadow play.

The stage has been adorned with decorative digital screens in the proscenium area and also encrusted with props, which bear images of the “Mooknayak” newspaper that Ambedkar used to bring out, and associated words to his life, and titles of books written by him.

The screens will display a matrix of words such as “The Annihilation of Caste”, “Pakistan or the Partition of India”, “The Buddha and His Dhamma”, and the inner screens will carry “Nayak”, “Riddles in Hinduism, etc. .

The music and songs include contributions from the Indian Ocean band, and in the climactic song, singer Shubha Mudgal lent her powerful vocals, which Roy says “gave me goosebumps”.

The play is approximately two hours long and will also feature a mix of drama, acrobatics and choral performances set to background music. The storyline is embedded with social commentary on the plight of the Dalit community and its struggle.

Around 30 cast and support crew members, largely drawn from a theater studio in Delhi, are part of the production.

Delhi-based Disha Sharma, who plays Ambedkar’s first wife, Ramabai, said: “We all know about Ambedkar’s struggles, but his wife was running the whole house with kids, when he went. to Columbia University for graduate studies. She was a Dalit and a woman, and her sacrifices must also be known.”

Nagpur-born Gauri Dewal, who graduated from the National School of Drama in 2008, plays the role of Ambedkar’s second wife, Savita Ambedkar, who was a doctor.

“I grew up in Nagpur, so aware of Babasaheb’s legacy and his memorial that I saw there. Also, as a child, I had already played the role of ‘Ambedkar’, so it’s kinda destined, I think, to play his wife now, after so many years,” she told PTI.

Previously, the play was scheduled to be performed from January 5 but it was postponed due to rising COVID-19 cases in the nation’s capital.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia told reporters on December 23 that the play on Ambedkar would be staged here on a large scale to tell the story of his struggle and inspire others.

It would be done on a large scale in a large hall, ”on Western musicals, in the manner of Broadway, had specified Sisodia.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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