Watch Parsi actor, Zubin Varla, play the Mughal prince, Dara, at the National Theatre, South Bank, London

The play is well-worth seeing. The apostasy trial scene is riveting.dara

  1. Mughal India. The imperial court, a place of opulence and excess; music, drugs, eunuchs and harems. Two brothers, whose mother’s death inspired the Taj Mahal, are heirs to this Muslim empire. Now they fight ferociously for succession.

Dara, the crown prince, has the love of the people – and of his emperor father – but younger brother Aurangzeb holds a different vision for India’s future. Islam inspires poetry in Dara, puritanical rigour in Aurangzeb. Can Jahanara, their beloved sister, assuage Aurangzeb’s resolve to seize the Peacock Throne and purge the empire?

There is no limit to what families do to one another, so much crueller than they are to strangers.

Tanya Ronder’s adaptation of Shahid Nadeem’s Dara spans the princes’ lives from cradle to grave. An intense domestic drama of global consequence – for India then and for our world now.

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