SINGAPORE: After Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, “Mughal-E-Azam: The Musical” will travel to Singapore for a three-day show.
Directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, who won fame with theatre productions like “Dinner With Friends” and “Mahatma Vs Gandhi”, the musical was introduced to Indian audiences two years ago.
Speaking about the comparisons between the 1960 film and the musical, Khan, 59, said “I am not calling it a ‘modern’ version.”
“It remains at heart the original, but while the film was more masculine in some respects, in the play, the women’s characters are very strong. They have a voice and, because of that, value-wise it is very contemporary,” Khan told The Straits Times.
The story revolves around the ill-fated romance between the young Prince Salim and a dancing girl of the Mughal court, who would gain fame throughout the empire as Anarkali.
The sumptuous production – there are 550 costumes designed by the acclaimed Manish Malhotra – is brought Singapore by Anu Samtani of Action Replay and Maniza Jumabhoy of Limelight Arts.
“I have done every play that Feroz has brought here,” said Jumabhoy.
“But this is the biggest so far. It has amazing sets and even with Singapore’s advanced facilities, the most expensive item so far has been the lighting, a lot of which we had to import from Dubai.”
According to Samtani, the cast and crew will number 120, which makes the Singapore version about midway between the play put on in New Delhi and Mumbai, the city where it was first staged.
Of the eight songs in the musical, six are drawn from the movie and two were scored for the play.
Singapore audiences who do not follow Hindi or Urdu can follow the drama through the English translations on giant LED screens placed off stage, according to the Singapore daily. PTI