‘Alone’ — does the word make you brood? Feel lonely? Or stressed and agitated? Is one actually “alone” when they are staying all by themselves with nobody to share their thoughts, experiences and happy or sad moments? The play Alone, staged by Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation on Sunday evening at Radisson Blu Plaza in Banjara Hills, raises such questions, and more!
The play is based on a short story written by Noor Baig, published as part of her anthology of short stories titled A-Quaint-Essences, which was released during the lockdown. Produced by Begum Razia Baig and designed and directed by Mohammad Ali Baig, the one-hour-long play captivated the 100-odd theatre enthusiasts who were present to watch the play.
Set in the lockdown backdrop, Alone is the story of yesteryear movie star Asha, who looks back at her unusual life journey. From being a meditation student to living in the hills teaching the art of meditation to enthusiasts, to being cast in a cross-over film and embracing celebrity that ensues with equal ease, Asha has had an eventful life. Despite the glory and celebrity status, her spiritual quests take Asha from one stage of her life to another where she learns about love, happiness, fame, isolation, personal loss and lingering memories.
Interspersed with humour and wit, and engrossing narration, the introspective play — presented in a storytelling form — makes one laugh out loud as well as ponder about life, love and loss.
As Noor Baig steps on to the stage and steps into the shoes of Asha, one cannot but admire the awesome screen presence and the ease with which she slips into the character. Noor’s brilliant performance — the play is almost like a one-artiste show — ably supported by the brief presence of Mohammad Ali Baig as Dr Lokesh, Asha’s husband, and Vijay Prasad as Lokesh’s assistant, makes the play worth the 60 minutes spent listening to one veteran actor talk (and rant) about her life in the most captivating manner.
A natural performer, Noor lights up the stage with her smile, expressions, laughter, dialogue delivery and good voice modulation. Mohammad Ali Baig, who has always received rave reviews for his portrayal of Quli Qutb Shah in Quli Dilon ka Shahzaada and the title role in 1857: Turrebaz Khan, looks a bit uncomfortable and inhibited in the couple of romantic scenes of this modern-day tale.
Overall, Alone is worth watching — alone or with friends/family.