Coming alive on stage

Grand set

Coming alive on stage

Scenes from the play.

Many avid readers of Paulo Coelho would never have thought that his hugely popular work, The Alchemist could be transformed into a play that could take them into a new high.

The English play, inspired by the popular allegorical novel of Paulo Coelho and
directed by Mahesh Dattani, was staged in the City recently.

The 90-minute play, supported by a grand set, computerised lightings and scintillating performances offered the audiences, a wholesome visual experience.

The evening began after the national anthem was played in the background.

The play was indeed a laugh riot. It was about the story of Santiago, a simple shepherd boy, who has a dream and the courage to follow it.

The boy ventures into a journey of self discovery and exploration. He travels distances by sea and desert searching for a hidden treasure, located near the pyramids in Egypt.

On his way to Egypt, the mysterious Alchemist appears before him. The Alchemist guides him on his journey to realise his destiny.

Scenes from the play. At the end of the play, he discovers that the “treasure lies where the heart belongs", and that the treasure was the journey itself, the discoveries he made, and the wisdom he acquired. 

Even though the play has been inspired by the novel, the direction has used all artistic freedom.

The story was interspersed with singing, humour and well-sequenced action. The director has incorporated martial arts as well.

The medieval atmosphere, desert lifestyle and tribal conflicts were bought alive on stage.

"I have read Paulo Coelho's allegorical novel several times. I was doubtful of its theatrical success as the original story involves different geographical locations and time period. But, Dattani has brought the novel on stage rather effortlessly. The
play is an inspirational and entertaining one," says Ashish Bhat, a play enthusiast. 

Produced by the Ashwin Gidwani Productions. The cast were Mohan Kapur, Dipankar Chakravarty, Shilpi Arora, Sandip Sikcand and Asif Ali Beg. The role of Santiago was essayed by Kaizad Gherda.

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