Curtain Raiser Press Release (file photos attached)

5th edition of Au-Jairangam from 21 to 27 November

Jaipur, 18 November: The forthcoming annual theater festival of Pink City scheduled to be held from Monday (21 November) – will also have a plethora of play relating to history.  Some of them include ‘Aurangzeb’ directed by K S Rajendran, ‘Ishq Aaha’ by Gagan Dev Riar and Sukant Goel, ‘Night’s End’ by Gowri Ramnarayan, ‘Hamlet in and Hamlet out’ by Pranab Mukherjee, and ‘Bidesia’ by Sanjay Upadhyay.

The play ‘Aurangzeb’ begins with the conversation between two of Aurangzeb’s spies in Agra Fort, who spies on them, indicating Aurangzeb’s suspicious nature as well as his attempt to be in control. The play selects telescopes and fuses events to capture the fissures as well as the peaks of a period of history. Shahjahan symbolises a decadent, self-indulgent, romantic aestheticism; Aurangzeb articulates and fiercely fights to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state; and Dara Shukoh projects himself as a philosopher-statesman striving to preserve a pluralist society and nation. Shahjahan dreams about a black-marble-mahal for himself, Aurangzeb dreams of one nation, one language, one religion, while Dara fears that Aurangzeb will destroy the precious heritage of Akbar.

The play has its theme the struggles of mutually contradictory dispositions of the various characters: Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; Dara and Aurangzeb; Jahanara and Roshanara (Shahjahan’s daughters) and finally Aurangzeb versus  Aurangzeb. Shahjahan lives in the past, Dara in the future and Aurangzeb in the present. Aurangzeb’s success is the triumph of pragmatism but he has to pay dearly as we find him in the last scene sitting not on his Peacock throne but beside it on the floor. His loneliness becomes his tragedy. The play ends with him asking himself a question: Am I a devout Muslim or a fanatic? He is left awaiting the judgement of history. The play will be staged on 27 November at 4 pm at Maharana Pratap Auditorium.


The play ‘Ishq Aaha’ takes one on a journey back and forth through time, unravelling some of the greatest love stories of Punjab and re-imagining them like never before. It enables one to discover their own shades of own love and longing. Inspired by – Heer-Ranjha (Waris Shah and Damodar), Sassi Punnu (Hashim Shah), SoniMahiwal (Fazal Shah and Hafiz Barkhurdar), MirzaSahiban (Peelu and Hafiz Barkhurdar). Ishq Aaha will be staged on 23 November at 4 pm at Maharana Pratap Auditorium.

Set in a reserve forest in Rajasthan, ‘Night’s End’ unfolds the story of Krishnan Nair. Born into a family of Kathakali artistes and trained in the art from childhood, Krishnan runs away from his native village in Kerala and becomes a forest guard in a tiger sanctuary. In emotional intensity, the Kathakali artiste in him finds solace dancing. Night’s End is a tale of betrayal, abandonment and loss in which the actions of humans – indigenous peoples, settlers, tourists, the state, media – powerfully affect the fragile ecosystem. The play will be staged on 27 November at 11 am and 4 pm at Rangayan (JKK).

‘Hamlet In Hamlet Out’, which will be staged on the opening of Au-Jairangam is a theatrical production by students of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya. Directed by Pranab Mukherjee, the play is a tribute to 450 and 400 years of William Shakespeare’s birth and death commemoration respectively. It looks at an internal monologue that goes inside Hamlet’s mind.. The purpose of the piece is to peep into a director’s mindscape as he rehearses the play. Not to make Hamlet, a storyboard character or a dramatic treatment. And more importantly to decode the goings on in the world from a South Asian pair of eyes and not make the bard a construct of the claustrophobic diction-delivery-costume axis. This piece is a quilt stitched from a performer’s point-of-view, largely looking at the Hamlet that lurks inside us. It will be staged on 21 November at 12 noon at Krishnayan (JKK).

Bihar’s folk theatre reverberates with Bhikhari Thakur’s ‘Bidesia’. Bhikhari Thakur was an artist, a dramatist and a poet who exhibited his play among the masses; focusing on their pains, sorrows and miseries. After the mutiny of 1857, Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh were in the grip of famine that changed the concept of livelihood into one of agony, compelling the people to leave their homeland. The problem still exists. In bidesia, the character Bidesi leaves his newly married wife Pyari Sundari and seeks employment in Calcutta. There he gets involved with another women, Rakhelin and begets two children. For years together Pyari Sundari received no news of her husband. A Batohi, on his way to Calcutta takes pity on Pyari and brings back Bidesia with him. Pyari who accepts Rakhelin wins the heart of the people for not forgetting the Dharma of Pativrata. The play depicts the loneliness of Pyari whose agony, Chahat and Tadapfor Bidesia know no limits. Bidesia is the story of values, displayed in rhythm Biraha and torture felt by a women and her determination to get her husband. The play will be staged on 24 November at 4 pm at Maharana Pratap Auditorium.

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