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Feisal Alkazi tells the story of Alkazi, Padamsee families in memoir Enter Stage Right

The veteran theatre director and educationist reveals the stories of his parents, Ebrahim and Roshen Alkazi, and their famous relatives in the world of theatre in the book published by Speaking Tiger Books.

Our Correspondent

In Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi/Padamsee Family Memoir, Feisal Alkazi tells the story of India’s biggest theatre families, the Alkazis and Padamsees. The memoir, published by Speaking Tiger Books, recounts the history of Indian contemporary theatre with more than 50 rare photographs and entertaining inside stories.

The book focuses on Feisal’s parents — Ebrahim Alkazi, the former director of the National School of Drama, and Roshen Alkazi, pioneering costumier and founder-director of Art Heritage — along with his relatives — actor, theatre director and adman Alyque Padamsee and his wife actress Pearl Padamsee.

Feisal, an educationist, theatre director and activist, has founded his own theatre group, Ruchika, and directed over 200 plays in Hindi, English and Urdu. In a press release, Feisal said, “Writing this book was like opening an old cupboard stuffed full with memories. Some were familiar, easy to recount, others I had heard so much about that I felt I had been there. And still others, hidden away at the back, revealed secrets I never knew.”

Renuka Chatterjee, Speaking Tiger’s vice-president of publishing, added, “This is one of the most important books on theatre to be published.  Apart from the Alkazi-Padamsee story, which is definitely a tale worth telling, it is a history of English theatre in India and its equation with Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other regional forms of theatre, that has not been told before.”

Enter Stage Right recreates Bombay in the early 1940s when Roshen Padamsee first met Ebrahim Alkazi in a production of the Oscar Wilde play Salome. The memoir encapsulates their journey as they were married and later Ebrahim rose to new heights in English theatre, nationally and internationally.  

The book also details their time at the National School of Drama from 1962 to 1977, where Ebrahim was instrumental in the careers of India’s acclaimed actors such as Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi. The couple also founded Delhi’s Art Heritage in 1977 which drew artists like MF Husain, Krishen Khanna, FN Souza and Tyeb Mehta to its gallery.

Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi / Padamsee Family Memoir is now available on Speaking Tiger Books here and will be soon available at leading bookstores in the country, Amazon India and Flipkart.