(Last Updated on : 22/07/2009)
Nazir Akbarabadi was an Urdu actor, director and also a popular dramatist of Parsi theatre. His real name was Mirza Nazir Beg. He was born in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, and a disciple of Hafiz Abdullah. He began work in theatre in 1882 as an actor in the Indian Imperial Theatrical Company and went on to become its chief hero and, later, director. In the course of his career, he directed other troupes including the Jubilee Theatrical Company in Bombay and Rajputana Malwa Theatrical Company in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. In 1901 he founded the short-lived Star of India Theatrical Company in Agra.
Nazir Akbarabadi authored over twenty plays, largely between 1888 and 1913. They include Afiana-e-ajayab or 'Strange Story' in 1888, Sat Harishchatidra or 'Virtuous Harishchandra' in 1888, Naldaman or 'Nala Defeated' in 1890, and Taid-e-Kkuda or 'Obeying God' in 1894. He claimed to have inserted in his dramas original songs and verses in traditional Hindustani or thumri, dadra and 'English' metres. He also rewrote others' works, like Chandravali, Chitra Bakavali, Khubsurat bala, and Safed khun, and adapted two Shakespeare classics as Khel Hamlet nau ejad urf wakia Jahangir nashad or 'Hamlet Play Reinvented, or The Tale of Unhappy Jahangir' in 1900 and Romeo Juliet urfishq-e-Ferozlaqa Gulnarsir or 'Romeo and Juliet, or The Love of Ferozlaqa and Gulnarsir' in 1904.
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