Naseeruddin Shah is often seen as a prominent artist in India, minus the showbiz. A veteran film and stage actor, he has starred in over 150 films and TV shows. If you are a fan of theatre, you may have seen Naseer’s brilliance on stage too. In 1977, he formed a theatre group called Motley Productions, along with Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani. The group is active even today, staging plays all over the country. There’s no doubt about it – Naseeruddin Shah is a treat to watch on stage! On his 66th birthday, we bring you a list of his best theatrical performances. Do not miss these plays the next time they stage in your city.
Waiting for Godot
This was the first play by Motley Productions, based on Samuel Beckett’s famous play – En Attendant Godot. It starred Shah and Gilani as two characters who are waiting for a character named Godot. The play ran for three years at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai and received positive reviews for the actors’ performances.
Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and Heeba Shah came together for a dramatic reading of Ismat Chughtai’s short stories, put together in a play. Shah narrated the story Gharwali, a comedy drama about a bachelor Mirza, and his maid Lajjo. His narration, as well as characterization of both the characters, is worth a watch!
Based on Gabriel Emanuel’s play by the same name, Motley staged the solo act Einstein, where Naseeruddin played the science genius. In the play, Einstein talks about his childhood, relationships, religious beliefs, the famous Theory of Relativity and more. What Naseeruddin brings is his own eccentricity and brilliant effort to pull off the role of the science genius.
An adaptation of Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods, the play focuses on two diplomats, Naseeruddin Shah and Rajit Kapoor, who take a private walk in the woods, amidst peace talks between their countries. Both Shah and Kapoor deliver excellent performances that portray their acting talents.
Mahatma vs. Gandhi
Naseeruddin played the role of Gandhi in the play Mahatma vs. Gandhi, which focused on Gandhi’s relationship with his eldest son. The actor wanted to play the character ever since he auditioned for Richard Attenborough‘s Gandhi. His performance was so well received that he went on to play Gandhi in the film Hey Ram.
A great lover of G. B. Shaw‘s stories, Naseeruddin got the opportunity to play Shaw himself in this comedy drama. Both he and Ratna Pathak Shah, who plays the stage actress Mrs Patrick Campbell, make a formidable couple as the play delves into the intriguing relationship of their characters.
We wish Naseer Sahab a happy birthday and hope to see more of him on stage.