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Atul Tiwari’s dramatic adaptation  of the story of a little bird, calls out  to audiences of all ages

CultureLeadGillo Gilehri, a theatre troupe specialising in theatre for young adults, brings their much acclaimed Taoos Chaman Ki Myna to town. Based on Naiyer Masud’s story of a young girl’s relationship with a myna from the royal peacock garden, music and dance unite as the drama unfolds in the final moments of the last Nawab of Awadh’s reign. We catch up with director Atul Tiwari.

More on the tale
Everything is told through the prism of the little girl and the bird, making it relatable to a young audience. The story is also like Prem Chand’s Eid Ghah in that it’s that rare kind of tale that appeals to both children and adults.

Adapting the story for the stage
I know the author Naiyer Masud as I’m from Lucknow, but not this particular story. The Gillo Gilheri team gave me the abridged edition for kids, and the charming tale about a bird had great dramatic potential. I was immediately excited.

Setting in historic Lucknow
My upbringing was in Lucknow and it is in my blood and bones – I felt ashamed that I hadn’t done something on the city. Here I bring elements from the culture of the city through the storytelling and dance, food and language.

The role of dance and music
In the movement of the birds there is the grace of kathak, and there is the gravitas and grace that a Nawab who has been trained in kathak would have. Taoos Chaman Ki Myna is not a musical, but the music is like a sheer curtain through which you see the play. Amod Bhatt has done a brilliant job – he’s one of the best theatre musicians in the country.

The audience
I’m looking forward to performing here because it is a wonderful cosmopolitan audience. I’m sure that we will be able to entertain them!
On October 8, 6.30 pm, ADA Rangamandira. Tickets (Rs. 100 upwards) on bookmyshow.com

—Maegan Dobson Sippy

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