BENGALURU: June 3 marks the anniversary of thespian and theatre legend Qadir Ali Baig. In the ‘old normal’, stalwarts like Habib Tanvir, M S Sathyu, Rohini Hattangady and Shabana Azmi have performed on the occasion. But this year, which marks the 36th anniversary of the veteran theatre person, has his son Mohammad Ali Baig, a Padma Shri recipient himself, doing the different.
A dramatised reading of Alone, a story of a yesteryear movie actress coming to terms with her role in real life during the lockdown, will be ‘staged’ online on Wednesday. “A new theatre spectacle, titled My Father - His Exalted Highness, on the life of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, was scheduled for its London and Russian stagings this year. But owing to the pandemic, both the shows got rescheduled,” says theatre revivalist Baig.
Later this month, their globally-acclaimed plays, Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada and 1857: Turrebaz Khan, and a collection of 10 short stories, A-Quaint-Essences by the doyen’s daughter-in-law, actress-writer Noor Baig, will be launched. The online tribute would be in the form of Baig reading one of the stories from that collection, titled Alone.
Known for extravagant sets, Baig wasn’t keen on going ahead with an online theatre experience, which would neither be a play, web series or film. “Our historical works don’t fit into the online format and I felt doing so would only be a compromise. Not wanting to lose the charm of our works, we decided to go ahead with a format where the focus is on words, story, accent and storytelling,” he says about the one-man show in English, Hindi and bits of French.
He adds, “Since the premise of Baba’s work was that theatre should transcend boundaries, serving the true spirit of humanity and oneness, reaching out to those who make theatre around the country possible is important in these critical times.”Alone can be viewed on Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation’s YouTube channel and Facebook page on Wednesday at 7.30 pm.