Laila and Jamal - Produced by The Madras Players and directed by Nikhila Kesavan

Updated - July 29, 2019 12:21 pm IST

Published - July 25, 2019 02:54 pm IST

Laila and Jamal is an original stage adaptation of one strand of Manu Joseph’s critically acclaimed novel, Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous. A building collapses in Mumbai. In the debris is a man who is mumbling something in delirium. It appears that he is passing on the real-time movements of two terror suspects, Jamal and Laila. Elsewhere, Mukundan, a junior intelligence agent, is assigned to shadow this young Muslim couple.

As Mukundan tails them down a highway, the story of Laila and Jamal unfolds engagingly through the words of others – an old politician’s intriguing telephone conversations with a powerful bureaucrat, stinging exchanges between Laila and her widowed mother, eleven-year-old Aisha’s hero-worship of her Laila Aapi, the quiet pain and regrets of Jamal’s old father, and Mukundan’s prolific interior monologues. The plot, set in timeframe of about 12 hours, races on, as every scene connects more dots leading to the big reveal.

Laila and Jamal raises compelling questions about the entire system, and the value of a human life.


Playwright: Nikhila Kesavan


Language/s: English


Genre: Thriller


Duration: 110 minutes


Interval: No


Director: Nikhila Kesavan


Theatre Group: The Madras Players




Cast: V Sarvesh Sridhar, Vidya Nair, Ketan A Mehta, Shubh Mukherjee, Sudhir Ahuja, Balaji K Moorthy, Aashna Madan, Rutva Satish, Deepa Nambiar, Nilu, S Radhakrishnan



Set Design: MOAD – The Madras Office for Architects and Designers

Lighting: Victor Paulraj and Team Studio7

Sound: Sandhya Kannan

Costumes: Gibran Osman, BAS and Kamala Krish

Backstage: Sandhya Kannan and R Saravana Kumar

Poster and Animated Trailer: Studio ChitraKoothu (Aithihya Ashok Kumar and Jagannath Radhakrishnan)

Business Management: Gopi Nair

Adaptation and Direction: Nikhila Kesavan


Director’s Quote:

“Laila and Jamal has made me work very hard, both in terms of adaptation and direction. I am very happy that I got to work with Manu’s immensely moving words and inventive plotline. I owe it to my terrific cast for bringing this compelling and complex story alive on stage. It is a huge honour to be a part of this Fest.”


Suitable for: 15 years +




This play, Laila and Jamal, is an adaptation of Manu Joseph’s novel, Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous. This novel/play is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the novelist’s/director’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The views expressed in this play are from the novel and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Madras Players or that of the cast and crew of this production.


Date & Venue: August 17, 2019, Corporation Kalaiarangam, Coimbatore

Time: 7.30pm


Associate Sponsors: Apollo Hospitals

Hospitality Partner: Vivanta by Taj

Travel Partner: Air India

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