Yatrik's "Mirza Bagh", an adaptation of the Irish playwright Brain Friel's "Aristocrat", could be top-drawer stuff with some proper editing.
The chronicle of patriarch Abba, three sisters, one brother and the central character Mirza Bagh, as seen through the eyes of the plebeian son-in-law reveals the way in which the ache of one family becomes the microcosm for the passing away of an entire way of life. In a nutshell, this is what Yatrik's "Mirza Bagh" is.
But for the acknowledgement in Yatrik's programme brochure that its latest play "Mirza Bagh" was a translation-adaptation of the Irish playwright Brain Friel's "Aristocrat", it would have easily passed off as an original play about the life of a Talukdari family after the abolition of zamindari system in 1951. One was so impressed by Sabina Mehta Jaitley's adaptation, in a mix of Hindustani and English, that after seeing Yatrik's production one read the original "Aristocrat" and was pleasantly surprised that right from the settings of the opening scene and the characters on the stage one finds a sort of commonality between the Irish landed aristocracy and a family of administrators and lawyers belonging to a Muslim family of Talukdars of the days gone by. The Ballybeg Hall in Donegal county of Ireland is relocated to Mirza Bagh in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh. Credit must go to Sabina for creating not only the corresponding situations but also convincing Indian
The chronicle of patriarch Abba, the three sisters and a brother and indeed the central character Mirza Bagh, as seen through the eyes of the plebeian son-in-law reveals the way in which the ache of one family becomes the microcosm for the passing away of an entire way of life. In a nutshell, this is what Yatrik's "Mirza Bagh" is. The cast is a mix of the old and new. We have Prakash Bhatia playing as Baldev Raj, Ramesh Thakur as Qasim Ali Beg and his wife Zehra (Surabhi Goswami) who live in Germany and then there is Inayat Mirza (Tarannum Ahmad) as the elder sister all as good as ever and of course there is Yatrik's veteran Jasbir Malik. In Mahua Sen we have a versatile singer whose Chaiti right in the beginning holds the audience even if she had a bad throat the evening one saw the play.Here is a play that must be kept alive for the newness in its script and its overall production design. But as it stands "Mirza Bagh" is for too long and at times the pace is a little slow and, one feels if it could be edited by at least 20 minutes or so it would well be a top scorer.