Prangane Mor’s new play “Aurangzeb”
Does history repeat itself or is it all about individual fate? Whatever it is, the confession or self-realisation that the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb made in his last days forms the core of a new play, “Aurangzeb”. The play sees Aurangzeb facing the similar fate that his father, Shah Jahan, endured because of his desire for power. The play tries to establish that the policy taken by Aurangzeb during his reign went wrong. Ignoring his predecessors’ strategy, he tried to initiate a new way that finally fell through.
Theatre troupe Prangane Mor premiered the play on September 28 at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Ananta Heera has directed the play, written by Mohit Chattopadhyay.
The play starts with Aurangzeb (played by Ananta Heera) revolting against his father. Eventually he succeeds and takes the throne, imprisons his father, Emperor Shah Jahan (Ramiz Razu) along with sister Jahanara (Shuvechchha), and forces elder brother Dara Shikoh (Usuf Palash) to flee. Among the siblings, only younger sister Roshanara (Nuna Afroz) supports Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb later captures and kills Dara. The play skips years ahead before going to the last sequence. In the last sequence, the audience witnesses the confession made by a 90-year-old Aurangzeb to his daughter.
The two-hour-long play is a history lesson, more or less. Engaging and tense scenes inside the palace; conversation between Shah Jahan and Jahanara; creating impressions of war and bloodshed through surround sound; Aurangzeb and Dara fighting about the Mughal policy and the actors’ credible performances kept the audience glued to the seats.
A 10-minute break separates the play into two parts. In the first part the audience witnesses a tensed, fallen Emperor Shah Jahan. In this part, Aurangzeb’s presence is only felt through conversations. The protagonist appears just after the break, when everything is under control.
Impressive set and costumes indicate that this is a big budget production. Nuna Afroz designed the costume — refined versions of what jatra artistes usually wear when playing Mughal characters.
The premiere show kept the full house engrossed, on a holiday evening, with convincing performances by Ananta Heera, Ramiz Razu and Nuna Afroz.
Faiz Zahir designed the set and light; Ramiz Razu directed the music.
“Aurangzeb” is the 7th production by Prangane Mor.
-With The Daily Star input