Aadyam announces the second play of the season – Baaghi Albele directed by Atul Kumar | PERFECT WOMAN MAGZINE

Heatre for its 6th season


 For all the theatre aficionados out there who’ve been waiting with bated breath for a dramatic light-hearted delight, you can now look forward to Baaghi Albele – the second play produced by Aadyam Theatre for its 6th season. It is a farce directed by the acclaimed theatre director Atul Kumar.

Set in Ludhiana, Punjab, in North India, Baaghi Albele is a satirical comedy reflecting on the relevance of art and artists in contemporary times. While the story is based on the motion picture “To Be or Not to Be” by Ernst Lubitsch and adapted from the dramatic text of the same name by Nick Whitby, much of the play has been re-created and improvised by the play’s actors and writers alike. The adaptation of the story is by Saurabh Nayyar, with the script doctored by Gagan Dev Riar.

The Hindi-Punjabi play ‘Baaghi Albele’, showcases its narrative through farcical comedy. It is a dramatic comedy that explores the struggle of artists and intellectuals in a time of government repression. The play follows the journey of husband and wife actors, Johny and Minnie Makhija, as they find themselves at the center of a dangerous situation when a soldier from an underground rebel organization seeks their help. With the threat of prosecution and death looming, the couple along with their troupe of actors must use their wit and theatrical skills to stay one step ahead of the government spy on their trail. The play combines humour and absurdity with a dark reality, as the theatre troupe works to flee to England while navigating the challenges posed by a government spy and a corrupt inspector.

While the plot is intense, the play is an out-and-out comedy with wacky characters leading a narrative whose subtext is rather dramatic. It’s bizarre yet thoughtful, hysterically funny yet very powerful as it highlights how artists, even to this day, constantly have to grapple with restraints imposed on them by various sections of the society.

Exceptional storytelling combined with the magic of Atul Kumar’s stagecraft weaves a truly immersive tale of resilience, wit, humour, and prowess that artists often display against extreme socio-political measures. It speaks of how art is never a wasted human preoccupation and that each time a higher power tries to restrain artistic freedom, artists will only rise through the obstacles and come out of the other side with greater artistic liberation.

Furthermore, a stellar cast of proficient actors, including Gagan Dev Riar, Ayesha Raza, Taranjit Kaur, Ujjwal Chopra, Saurabh Nayyar, and Harsh Khurana, amongst many others, will bring these hard-hitting implications of the narration spectacularly and comically to life.

In short, Baaghi Albele is a play that is sure to make you burst out in laughter every second of its way while also stirring some intense emotions in your heart. A must-watch for every artist, the play is an exhibit of tragedy and comedy intertwined to give its audience instances that are beyond their wildest imaginations. First, it punches you in the gut, then it leaves you shedding tears of laughter.

Speaking about the play, Atul Kumar, the director of Baaghi Albele, was quoted as saying“The Orwellian image of art and artists in India is slowly coming true. The siege under which the freedom of art and artists find themselves is now real & terrifying. The shows are cancelled, support is withdrawn, threats are issued, long & drawn-out court cases are filed, and eventually all performance platforms and access are bought. It is within this political-cultural climate, where art and artists’ freedom are targeted, that we set our play, Baaghi Albele. An attempt to underline, through our performance, the relevance of art and artists to the healthy growth of a nation. And their resilience and resolve to exist, to express themselves, and to fight against all hurdles & curbs. I honestly couldn’t think of a better story to adapt and play out as a farce.”

Kyla Dsouza from the curation committee of Aadyam Theatre added, “We’re extremely excited about Baaghi Albele! Atul Kumar and his team are masters of their craft and we’re positive that the audiences will be moved to both laughter and tears in this farce that explores the relevance of art and artists in contemporary society and their resilience in a world that often forces them to stay silent”

With a legacy upholding some of the most magnificent plays in the history of Indian theatre, Aadyam Theatre, an Aditya Birla Group initiative, is all geared up to stage an amazing lineup of extraordinary plays in its 6th season, Baaghi Albele being the second of the lot. Ensure that you don’t miss out on this thrilling joyride of a play because it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. So leave logic back at home and embrace the madness and playfulness of Baaghi Albele as it takes you through a whole world of imagination.

The play opens at Royal Opera House, Mumbai, on February 18th, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. and February 19th, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m


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