Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan returns to the stage, albeit in a most unexpected way. He will play himself on stage in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Marathi play ‘Mi Shahrukh Manjarsumbekar’ — but not in person.
Amitabh will be speaking to the play’s main protagonist played by Siddharth Jadhav, from a screen image which will be flashed at every performance of the play.
And since the play will be in the form of an ongoing political comment with the politics changing in every performance according to the current headlines, it looks like Big B has a long innings ahead on stage.
‘You can say that,’ laughed Manjrekar who returns to his first love, stage direction, with ‘Mi Shahrukh Manjarsumbekar’. ‘Amitji will be seen in a dialogue with the Siddharth Jadhav character who plays the common man. The politics will change. But the two characters played by Jadhav and Amitji will remain the same.’
The first staging of ‘Mi Shahrukh Manjarsumbekar’ will focus on Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s comment during the Bihar election campaign to the effect that Maharashtra is prosperous today because of Biharis.
‘It’s such divisive politics that my play will strive to criticise through the character of the common man. Amitji’s audio-visual will be the highlight of every show,’ he said.
Interestingly, Big B has played a part in the movie version of ‘Mi Shahrukh Manjarsumbekar’. Titled ‘Struggler’, the movie that features Manjrekar as the common man is now ready for release five years after its completion.
‘It’s a coincidence that the play and film are going to be out at the same time. The movie is very different from the play. I’ve made a lot of changes in the play. The play will have an ongoing commentary on current politics,’ said Manjrekar.