Shri 420 by Molière


The Play
Shri 420 is an Indian adaptation of Molière’s masterful 17th century French comedy Tartuffe. It was adapted into Hindi by Atul Tiwari and performed for Australian audiences in 2017. The plot revolves around a wealthy expat Indian, Om Prakash Bhatti who is a devout follower of a Charlatan Swami Tarkeshwarnath Anandpunjanandji. It is a hilarious play that explores how, in seeking a shortcut to spirituality, people fall prey to phony ‘420’ Babas and face its consequences.

Director’s Note
Be it Bhas, Kalidas, or Shakespeare, the great classics of literature remain alive since they explore social
dynamics that remain relevant throughout the ages, and across cultural boundaries. These stories engage with audiences because they are meaningful and touch a chord with the universal human experience. This phenomenon can be seen in Molière’s oeuvre, notably in his masterpiece Tartuffe. The hallmark of Molière’s works is his examination of serious social subjects through a comedic, playful lens. The spirit of Molière is thus transposed in our Indian adaptation, Shri 420. We hope you enjoy the play as much as we have enjoyed the process. We have had the pleasure of working with a delightful team of both experienced and young actors, and backstage crew from both India and Australia.

The Directors
Saba Zaidi is a graduate of AMU, Aligarh; NSD, Delhi; and UTS, Sydney. She began her career as a TV drama director and producer at Doordarshan. Having established her career in TV, she moved on to be a designer, director and actor in films and theatre in India and Australia. She has won a national award for costume design in Trikaal and Doordarshan Awards for her plays Wapsi and Zewar ka Dibba. Presently she is the founding Artistic Director of Adakar.  Atul Tiwari is a graduate from NSD, Delhi. He has directed plays for professional repertories, theatre
companies, and drama schools in India and abroad. Apart from the production of classical and modern Indian plays, Atul has a repertoire of over 30 productions in different languages consisting of famous Western playwrights. He has written screen-plays and dialogues for feature films and has also acted in films like Three Idiots, PK and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Atul is an executive member of Sangeeta Natak Academy and has recently been awarded Yash Bharti Samman by U.P. Government.

The Playwright
Moliere, a French playwright and actor, is considered one of the greatest master of comedy in Western literature and theatre. He brought elements of Commedia dell’arte to refine French comedy and amongs this best-known works are The Misanthrope, The School for Wives, Tartuffe, The Miser, The imaginary invalid and The Bourgeois Gentlemen.

The Group
Adakar was formed in 2014. It is committed to bring Australian sub-communities together through theatre and cultural exchanges. It staged Kanjoos (Molière’s The Miser) as part of the Parramasala Festival in 2014, and Wedding Album and Shri 420 at NIDA’s Parade Theatres.

Cast & Credits
Swami Tarkeshwarnath Anandpunjanand : Vipul Vyas

Ammaji Panna Bhatti : Saba Zaidi Abdi
Om Prakash Bhatti : Nisar Sirguroh
Sweety, Ira Bhatti : Aparna Vats
Mahi Bhatti : Jyotsna Sharma
Dev Prakash : Abhishek Mehrotra
Deepal : Avantika Tomar
Krishna Kant : Smarajit Dey
Phulki : Aditi Dey
Vivek : Jagat Sharma
Police Officer : Farjad Mahmood
Set Design : Jayant Deshmukh & Rajeev Maini
Light Design : Tushar Bose & Dhruv Jyoti Ghose
Costume Design : Mala Mehta & Richa Sharad
Music : Amod Bhatt
Sound : Sunil Kumar
Make-up : Sandhya Bose
Graphic Design : Shahid Malik & Katrina Lee
Photography : Freddy Handa &Prugya Maini
Choreography : Consultant Pooja Pant
Magic Consultant : Mangesh Desai
Production Manager & Ticketing : Smarajit Dey (Bapi)
Stage Manager : Aparna Tijoriwala
Properties : Saral Somaiya & Aditi Dey
Media & Communications : Tamanna Abdi
Playwright : Molière
Adaptation : Atul Tiwari
Direction : Saba Zaidi Abdi & Atul Tiwari

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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