Designing for theatre different from films: Manish Malhotra

Mumbai: Celebrity designer Manish Malhotra can’t wait to design for the classic characters Anarkali and Salim in Firoz Abbas Khan’s Broadway-styled musical play. He says that designing for theatre is different than films.

Anarkali and Salim, the iconic characters from cult classic “Mughal-e-Azam”, are all set to recreate their legendary romance through the musical play directed by Khan.

The designer who has designed for numerous celebrities and films including the recent “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, said: “I immediately agreed when I was approached for reviving the play for producing a grand musical at NCPA (venue of the play). I have never done costumes for theatre and for a musical play.”

“‘Mughal-e-Azam’ is an opportunity for me to be associated with characters like Salim, Akbar ,Anarkali and Jodha. Theatre is a great experience for me because unlike films where there is a fluctuation of shooting locations, here everything is required together.”

Malhotra also said he got associated with the play because of his passion.

“It is a very busy time for me as it is the wedding season. I have just finished two fashion shows and I have lots of orders for weddings, still I am here because of my passion.”

Speaking about the difference between the films and theatre, he said that for theatre he doesn’t want to make heavy costumes.

“I don’t want to make such costumes which look overwhelming. The costume should not be weighty so that actors should be able to change quickly. We have to check how the colours will look onstage in a particular lighting. Right now, there is a lot of excitement on the set,” he said.

The play which is based on the blockbuster film “Mughal-e-Azam” will be six songs originally composed by Naushad, and two new songs created for the show.

This ambitious project also has award-winning lighting designer David Lander, Emmy award nominee projection designer John Narun, production designer Neil Patel and choreographer Mayuri Upadhya.