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This weekend, Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre will host the world premiere of Devdas – The Musical, a grand Broadway-style production that promises to be a spectacular showcase of music, dance, and theatre. Produced by live theatre producer AGP World, along with Arte Compass and Zee TV APAC, this production features a cast of Indian actors such as Sunil Kumar Palwal, Aanchal Chauhan, Bhavna Pani, Jayesh Thakkar, and Smita Jaykar, who play key roles in the musical.
At the helm of this grand production is British theatre director, writer, actor, and teacher Toby Gough, who has previously scripted The Merchants of Bollywood, Taj Express and is well-known for devising multi-cultural adaptations of Shakespeare plays. As the Creative Director, Gough has brought his wealth of experience to Devdas – The Musical, which promises to be a feast for the senses.
The musical draws its inspiration from the classic Indian love saga, Devdas, which was first published in 1917. The story has been adapted for the screen numerous times and has remained integral to the evolution of storytelling by the Indian arts community, captivating audiences for generations. With this production, Devdas is set to captivate a new generation of theatre-goers with its timeless story of love and loss.
The production promises to be a treat for the senses, with colourful and opulent sets that recreate the old capital of British India – Calcutta in the early 1900s. The dance sequences, a fusion of Indian classical and contemporary dance styles, have been artistically choreographed by Devendra Singh, adding a modern touch to the classic tale. The production also features songs from the original score of the Bollywood chartbuster movie Devdas and mesmerising new melodies sung by Bollywood singers, including Shaan, Kailash Kher, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar, Shail Hada, Bhoomi Trivedi, and Antara Mitra.
The musical will be presented in four shows, two in Hindi with English surtitles on Friday, 21 April, and Saturday, 22 April, and two in English with Mandarin surtitles on Saturday, 22 April, and Sunday, 23 April. With a running time of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, with a 20-minute interval, audiences are in for a treat as they immerse themselves in this grand production.
The Esplanade Theatre, where the musical will be staged, is a unique performing arts centre in Singapore’s Marina Bay area. It is a uniquely Singapore opera house designed to accommodate a wide range of performances, from small intimate shows to grand productions like Devdas – The Musical. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Apr 2023 – World Travel Magazine.