‘Dara at the National Theatre, London to run from 20 January until 4 April.
Tanya Ronder’s adaptation of Shahid Nadeem’s Dara spans the princes’ lives from cradle to grave. An intense domestic drama of global consequence – for India then and for our world now.
The scene set in 1659 – Mughal India. The imperial court, a place of opulence and excess; music, drugs, eunuchs and harems. Two brothers, whose mother’s death inspired the Taj Mahal, are heirs to this Muslim empire. Now they fight ferociously for succession.
Dara, the crown prince, has the love of the people – and of his emperor father – but younger brother Aurangzeb holds a different vision for India’s future. Islam inspires poetry in Dara, puritanical rigour in Aurangzeb. Can Jahanara, their beloved sister, assuage Aurangzeb’s resolve to seize the Peacock Throne and purge the empire?
There is no limit to what families do to one another, so much crueller than they are to strangers.
Dara opens on 20 January until 4 April 2015
National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX.