Muscat: Residents in Oman who possess a fondness for Bollywood movies will surely be looking forward to the arrival of actor Darsheel Safary, who will be arriving with a host of other prominent names to perform in a series of plays in Oman, this month.
The eighth edition of The Original Theatre Festival runs from November 17 to December 1, and features some of India's best and brightest creative minds.
Safary is best remembered by audiences as Ishan Awasthi, an eight-year-old dyslexic boy who was able to unleash and harness his artistic potential in the famous Hindi movie Taare Zameen Par, which also starred Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.
Accompanying Safary is actress Rohini Hattangadi, who is fondly remembered for her excellent portrayal of Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi, in Sir David Attenborough's Oscar-winning biopic Gandhi. She is the only Indian actress to win a prestigious BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for her role in that film, in addition to winning a National Award for her contributions to Indian cinema.
A total of five plays — including one in Gujarati — will be featured at the Original Theatre Festival, which is being brought to Oman by event management company Eventful, whose founder, Dr Sathish Nambiar, is very happy to see such illustrious names come to the Sultanate.
"We believe that theatre portrays the essence of acting. It is demanding on the performers and only those who have a passion for histrionics can emote to a level of popular acceptability," he told Times of Oman.
"Theatre is a medium which extracts the best among actors, and this for the aficionados becomes an audio-visual treat. Theatre has withstood the ravages of time and the advancement of technology, and still retains the aesthetic charm of storytelling.
"Due to circumstances outside our control, we were unfortunately unable to host the festival last year, but we are glad to have brought it back this time around," added Nambiar.
"This is also in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Oman's celebrations which commemorate 70 years of Indian independence, and we are very grateful to the Indian Ambassador to Oman, Indra Mani Pandey, for this support in this endeavour."
All five plays will take place at the Chancery Ballroom at the Indian Embassy, and having been scripted by some of India's finest playwrights, theatre aficionados in Oman are sure to enjoy some memorable evenings this month.
"We open our festival on November 17 with a comedy play called Blame it on Yash Raj, which has been written by Bharat Dabholkar, the man who created the witty one-liners of the now ubiquitous 'Amul girl'," said Nambiar. "On the 19th, we have a play called Four Play, which was a classic performance that ran its course and has now been revamped.
"On the 22nd, we showcase Two Adorable Losers, which is a brilliant two-man performance, and on the 30th, we have another play titled Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji (The heart is but a child), which has been written by and features Ali Asgar, who is currently starring in the TV show Comedy Nights with Kapil and has many other titles to his name," he said. "For the first time in our festival, we have also brought in a regional language play, and that plays on December 1, and stars Rohini Hattangadi."
Having dedicated himself to bringing such creative people to Oman, Nambiar is looking forward to seeing people turn up en masse for his offerings.
"I decided to mainly have comedy shows this time around, because times are now uncertain and people need something to distract them after a hard day," he revealed. "We are opening this to everyone, and look forward to joining them at the festival."
Admissions for the Original Theatre Festival are on first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve your seat, please call Eventful on 24789555 or 24796444.