Three years ago, Ahmedabad witnessed Kadak Badshahi, a performance that traced the 600-year history of the city. The performance had a packed continuous run of 33 nights at Natarani.
Kadak Badshahi is now back in a newer version and with more details. Kadak Badshahi 2.0 will be performed at a bigger venue—Shreyas amphitheatre from January 18 to February 1.
Mallika Sarabhai, one of the writers along with Nisarg Trivedi, said that when they conceived and staged Kadak Badshahi three years ago, they thought that it could not be improved. But here is an improved version, Mallika said, adding that now the city now has the tag of India's first heritage city by the UNESCO.
Yadavan Chandran, who imagined the performance, said that it is all about how the city has evolved over the years. According to Mallika, who plays an important role in the show, it also depicts stories of important people, who are lesser known. Kadak Badshahi 2.O will also have the heritage angle to it.
According to her, there is a need for people of Ahmedabad to know why the city got a heritage city tag and what went into it. Representatives of UNESCO had also seen the play.
Refusing the divulge more details of the show, obviously to maintain the suspense, Mallika only said that it was a larger and improved version.
There will be new characters and new actors. The show will also have a tongue-in-cheek political commentary. Among the new actors will include Professor Arthur Duff from Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) and Radio Jockey Devaki.
The newer version will have more time devoted to the Navnirman agitation, which began from Ahmedabad. Manishi Jani, one of the leaders of the Navnirman movement, is also one of the actors of the performance.
Noted artist B. V. Doshi will also play a role.
The Shreyas amphitheatre was established by Leena Sarabhai, Mallika's aunt and sister of Vikram Sarabhai, father of space programmes in India.
According to Mallika, through the season of performances, they are raising funds to finish rebuilding Natarani.
Plans are afoot to stage Kadak Badshahi 2.0 in other parts of the country as well.