Devdas, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic novella, has two enthralling Hindi cinema versions, with the titular role played by none other than Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan, and several stage renditions. A Bengali screen adaptation of the story starred two of the most iconic Bengali actors, Soumitra Chatterjee (as Devdas) and Uttam Kumar (as Chuni Babu). Then, in the age of experimental Bollywood cinema, this story of doomed love also inspired a black comedy version, titled Dev.D.
Getting another variant of Devdas, while knowing the plot to the very second, still fills you with a desire to watch this one, too.
Aanchal Chauhan, who plays “Paro” and Sunil Kumar Palwal, who plays Devdas in Devdas – the Musical, speak passionately, in an exclusive chat with Connected to India, about the art form of stage musicals and insist that this production would blow audiences away.
Aanchal said that their goal has been to keep the essence of the classic story and not let it be lost in translation to the stage.
“Everybody knows the story of Devdas, but they are coming to watch what’s new in it and what new flavour we’ve added to it. If I talk about Singapore, there will be a multicultural audience. Keeping all that in mind, we have tried to make the story as easy to digest for everyone, not only Indians,” she added.
‘Devdas – the Musical’ was created by Mumbai-based AGP World. Brought to Singapore by Akila Iyengar’s Arte Compass and Zee TV APAC, this is the musical version adapted and directed for the stage, with original content that connects with the audience through music, dialogue, dance, and theatrics. Elaborate set designs, vibrant colours, evocative lighting and special effects recreate the opulence of India’s former capital, Calcutta, during the early 1900s.
“Devdas is India’s answer to Romeo and Juliet,” Sunil told Connected to India. “We all have a Devdas inside us; we all go through this circle of life and go on the path of destruction. That’s why people relate to the story of Devdas.”
There will be two shows in Hindi with English surtitles at 8 pm on April 21 and 22 and two shows in English with Mandarin surtitles on April 22 at 3 pm and on April 23 at 5 pm at the Esplanade Theatre. Tickets for the show are available online.