19th century Urdu novel ‘Umrao Jaan’ gets adapted for stage

After several adaptations for the silver screen, ‘Umrao Jaan Ada’ will now be recreated for the stage in the form of a live musical

Image Courtesy: Paytm 
Image Courtesy: Paytm


After several adaptations for the silver screen, the 19th century classic Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada will now be recreated for the stage in the form of a live musical.

Originally written by Urdu poet Mirza Hadi Ruswa, the tale of courtesan Umrao Jaan has been portrayed earlier by leading Bollywood actresses like Rekha in 1981, and Aishwarya Rai in 2006. Organised by Gravity Zero Entertainment, the production directed by Rajeev Goswami, will be staged at the JLN Auditorium daily for a week from August 3 - 11.

"As a director I couldn't have asked for more! It wasn't easy bringing back a story of the 19th century and making it look convincing to the audiences who today have the world at the tip of their fingers.

"Moreover, we adapted the book. So breaking it down to scenes topped with managing not just acting but live singing and live music. I loved every bit of this challenge," Goswami said.

The music for the theatrical adaptation has been composed by popular Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman on lyrics penned by Irfan Siddiqui.

The musical Umrao Jaan Ada has been choreographed by Pooja Pant, and the script has been penned by Varun Gautam.

"It's a dream to recreate this epic musical! There is a lot of effort that has gone into the little nuances to take our audiences back to the early 19th century. It's been a sheer joy to bring the sound of ghazal and thumri live on stage," composer Salim Merchant said.

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