A poster of the play
Actor Imran Zahid, with origins in Bokaro, is donning greasepaint to essay another scribe in a play where he shares the stage with noted film-maker Mahesh Bhatt.
Trial of Errors that opens at Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House in Connaught Place, New Delhi, on March 29 is Bhatt’s second theatrical experiment and deals with a sensitive issue of the minority community. The story of how the establishment mistrusts minorities is explored through in a series of events in which a journalist, Rehan, falls into a police trap and gets caught in a vicious circle where the system labels him a terrorist.
It is very different from Imran’s role — through brief — in Jism-2 with Indo-Canadian “adult film star” Sunny Leone, but the seasoned actor says he “loves all kinds of challenging characters on stage and film”.
Imran, who catapulted to fame with his 2011 play The Last Salute, based on the incident in 2008 when scribe Muntadar Al-Zaidi of Cairo-based Al-Baghdadiya TV, a satellite channel, flung a shoe at then US president George W. Bush during a news meet in Baghdad.
Trial of Errors — again about a scribe, but a fictional one — promises to be no less exciting.
Bhatt has teamed up with Sandip Kapoor of Promodome Films to produce Trial of Errors. National-award winning playwright Waryam Mast is directing it, while noted writer Rajesh Kumar has scripted it.
Imran plays the main role while Bhatt will be on stage as a narrator.
“We have been rehearsing for at least three hours daily day for months at Take One School of Mass Communication. I am looking forward to March 29, when Trial of Errors opens at Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House,” Zahid told The Telegraph over the phone from New Delhi in between rehearsals.
The cast comprises 20 talented actors, including two women, also playing the role of journalists.
There’s another Jharkhand connect, Imran informs. “While I hail from Bokaro, Santosh Kumar Singh, the music director of Trial and Errors, is from Dhanbad,” he said.
March 29 onwards, it will be a whirlwind tour for the cast and crew.
“The play will be first staged in New Delhi in March. It will travel to Lucknow, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Patna, Ranchi, Aligarh, Srinagar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jammu, Pune and Dubai,” Imran said.
“I am so excited. Maheshji, my mentor, is the narrator of Trial of Errors. He says performing on stage will help hone my skills. We are in constant touch and meet every time Maheshji comes to Delhi. Theatre allows one to explore subjects that can’t be adapted to celluloid,” Imran added.
A DAV-Bokaro alumnus , he won acting awards even in school. “Even then, I knew acting was my calling. While doing B.Com from Hindu College, Delhi University, I joined Arvind Gaur’s theatre group. I had never dreamt of Bollywood, but as fate would have it, I met Maheshji at a media workshop in India Club, Dubai, in 2007. He prodded me to take up acting as a career,” Imran said.
Zahid, who probably wants to balance both stage and film, is still based in New Delhi, not Mumbai. His parents live in Bokaro. “My father is a retired Bokaro Steel employee, I visit my parents off and on. I love Bokaro, where I spent my childhood,” a nostalgic Zahid said.
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