HYDERABAD: Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation is known for its productions that often feature meaningfully women-centric themes. While director Mohammad Ali Baig’s productions are spectacles rooted in Hyderabadi history and culture and always balance both content and entertainment, they usually resonate with an underlying theme of the strength of a woman.
‘Savaan-e-Hayat’, the title a clever wordplay, meaning ‘life story’, is an elaborate exploration of such strength, the various facets of Qutb Shahi queen Hayat Baskshi’s eventful life.
Hyderabadi actress Rashmi Seth as an older Hayat, looking back, magnetically drew the audience through her journey as daughter, wife and mother of successive kings. The three men in her life were all played by the versatile Mohammad Ali Baig, who skillfully adapted both his makeovers and stylised mannerisms as befitting each character - doting father to a young Hayat played by Lyra Mayor, loving husband to adult Hayat played by Noor Baig and doting son to older Hayat.
With fantastical sets, well-researched rich costumes, and dreamlike lighting, the play laid an underlying emphasis on the threat of war that loomed over the Golconda. The scene that was powerfully enacted by Noor Baig and Vijay Prasad as Aurangzeb’s Mughal emissary captured the impending Mughal invasion and Hayat’s clever strategising which saved Hyderabad, her kingdom.
The spectacle was indeed a masterpiece, a bio-play so to say, embellished by live song and dances, including a haunting sword dance that opened the show.
In true Baig style, the touching production both moved the packed audiences as well as conveyed an impactful story of an extraordinary woman, a fitting conclusion to the Salar Jung 125th year birth anniversary celebrations.