Award winning charity production performs for 500th time in St Albans

500th showing of the Indian play, Yugpurush, at the Alban Arena

500th showing of the Indian play, Yugpurush, at the Alban Arena - Credit: Archant

A biographical charity production showcasing the relationship between Gandhi and his mentor performed its landmark 500th show in St Albans.

The play, Yugpurush: Mahatma Ke Mahatma, was performed at the Alban Arena as part of its UK tour after launching six months ago in Mumbai and becoming a hit in India.

This year it has won both the Dadasheb Phalke Excellence Award for Best Play, and the Gujarati Transmedia Screen and Stage Awards for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.

All surplus profits go towards the building of a 200-bed multi-speciality charity hospital in South Gujarat called the Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital.

It was written by Uttam Gada to celebrate the 150th birthday of Jain saint and philosopher Shrimad Rajchandraji - Mahatma Gandhi’s mentor - and how their relationship shaped the famous peaceful campaigner.

In a 1921 speech at Ahmedabad, Gandhi spoke of his teacher: “I have often declared that I have learnt, and learnt much, from the lives of many persons. But it is from the Kavishri’s [Shrimadji’s] life that I have learnt the most.

“It was from his life that I understood the way of compassion.”

Most Read

Minister of coordination at the High Commission of India, Ayyasamy Serma Rajan, was in the St Albans audience.

He said he was intrigued to learn more after seeing the play: “Whenever Mahatma Gandhi had a doubt or confusion or situation he needed help with he turned to his Guru, Shrimad Rajchandraji, and he got the answer.

“The soul connection is another important element of Indian philosophy and the union of body, mind and soul are beautifully depicted in this play.”

Gandhi is famous for leading the Indian National Congress and peacefully campaigning for political independence from Britain in the 20th Century.

In 1948 he was shot three times in the chest by a Hindu extremist, and nearly one million people lined the Gandhi’s funeral procession route to mourn his death.

The play is currently touring in four languages, including Gujarati and Hindi in the UK, and will continue from St Albans onto London, Birmingham and Bolton, until May 14.