I am currently rehearsing for a new play written by Tarun Jasani, Gauhar Jaan: The Datia Incident, showing at Omnibus Theatre, 10th - 29th April, directed by Mukul Ahmed. I will be playing the lead role of Gauhar Jaan, India's first recording artist.
About the play:
The story of India’s First Recording Artist.
India, Oct 1902. Fred Gaisberg is travelling across the country capturing the exotic sounds of the East to be played on his miraculous new machine, the gramophone. He is hoping to record the beautiful voice of Gauhar Jaan, a young courtesan famed not only for her musical prowess but her arrogance.
Numerous travellers Gaisberg meets along the way recount the famous Datia Incident where the Maharaja and Gauhar Jaan ‘the Queen of the Arts’ indulged in a fierce battle of egos, the outcome of which threatens Gaisberg’s mission. Each tells the tale of what happened on that dark day in Datia.
So what exactly happened?
This is a multilingual play fused with live music and dance that celebrates the early 20th century musical revolution, and the remarkable story of a talented musician who only ever craved control over her own fate.