HYDERABAD: It was in 1986, that renowned theatre performer Aamir Raza Hussain first met Virat Hussain, and since then the duo have been staging performances that leave audience mesmerised. “When Delhi University went on strike and classes came to a standstill. That’s when I went and auditioned for him. After that when he started chasing me,” recalls Virat, laughing and Aamir fills in, “till she said yes.” And this couple, with their troupe is in the city to impress audience with their latest production ‘ The Mousetrap’, a murder mystery penned by Agatha Christie first in 1952.
“This play was first written as a radio play, Three Blind Mice for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, II. It was such a huge hit that Agatha was asked by Peter Sonders, a very big producer at that time to convert it into a full-length stage play,” informs Aamir. The play opened in the same year and went on to become the longest running play ever, with over 26,000 performances till date.
“This later converted into The Mousetrap and starred Sir Richard Attenborough, the man who made Gandhi with a lady called Sheila Sim whom he eventually married. This performance is a celebration of Richard Attenborough, a tribute to him and a tribute to Agatha Christie as well,” explains 57-year old Aamir.
It is only natural that scripts are often tweaked by artists and directors. But, The Mousetrap is true to the original.
“We are completely truthful to the script and the characters and that’s the idea. Agatha Christie is something everyone has gone through. We want to bring her characters alive on stage,” says Virat.
The play is being staged as part of Welcomtheatre, by ITC Kakatiya in association with the couple for over 18 years now. They performed a drama last year, called Mehernama based on the life of Nur Jahan, wife of emperor Jahangir. Noted for outdoor stage productions, Aamir has recreated the Kargil war, calling it The Fifty Day war and the epic Ramayana into The Legend of Ram apart from many others under the name Stagedoor theatre company. All these to a varied audience that range from Amitabh Bachchan to former President APJ Abdul Kalam to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Ask him if he thinks of any episodes in the recent past that he wants to recreate, “Not really. Because, whatever we like, we do it. We don’t wait and The Mousetrap will keep us busy till the middle of next year,” says Aamir, pointing out to their other productions like Saare Jahaan se Accha on the Independence movement and 1947 live with Gandhi, Nehru, Mountbatten and Jinnah, the episodes he liked and hence recreated.
The couple which spends five days a year in the Southern Nawab city likes to go out and shop in the old city. “That’s what we do when we get time off our rehearsals,” they share.
The play is scheduled tonight at 8 15 pm at Hyder Mahal, ITC Kakatiya.Entry is only by invitation only.