In the long history of Indian theatre, there have been uncountable dramatists but only a handful of them have managed to alter the course of theatre and leave a mark on its history. Alyque Padamsee is one such theatre genius.
It is not an exaggeration or overstatement when one says that Alyque Padamsee is a legendary theatre personality. The icon associated with plays like Jesus Christ Superstar, Death of a Salesman, Evita, and Tughlaq was a man of many talents. Padamsee was also an ad film maker, an actor and a producer. His best work as an actor was probably as Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the movie Gandhi, but when it comes to picking his best play, the choices are far too many.
He made his debut in the world of theatre at the age of 7, with his eldest brother Sultan Bobby Padamsee’s rendition of William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”. And at a 23, when he directed his first play, it was his rendition of the Bard’s Taming of the Shrew. Here are some of Alyque Padamsee’s best works that are considered as a benchmark by numerous aspiring playwrights, dramatists and even actors!
Jesus Christ Superstar: The play opened in 1974 and was Padamsee’s version of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera by the same name. It is credited with being one of the first major musical shows in Indian history and was so well-received that it ran uninterrupted for more than one year.
Evita: After the success of his musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Padamsee knew that if he wanted to reach out to an extensive audience, musicals were the way to go. Evita was yet another rock opera based on the former of Argentine President and dictator.
Death of A Salesman: Padamsee made his theatre comeback in 2013 with his daughter Raëll Padamsee’s production Death Of A Salesman. This family drama has received recognition across the globe and has even a Pulitzer Prize.