Live show brings 17th-century Indian king to London stage

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 10, 2015 7:27 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The exploits of a 17th-century Indian warrior king whose guerrilla tactics humbled the mighty Mughal army will be celebrated in London this month with a show that has already attracted millions of spectators in India.

"Jaanta Raja" (Omniscient King) is the story of Shivaji, revered in western India as a Hindu ruler who fought the Mughals and established a Maratha kingdom.

The three-hour live show will be staged in London's Wembley Arena on June 20 and 21, after pulling in 15 million people at more than 1,000 stage productions in India.

Organisers said the revolving stage at Wembley will host 200 artists depicting various events from Shivaji's life. Highlights include a parade of horses and camels at the royal court, daredevil stunts and elaborate battle sequences.

"(It) offers the people of Europe an opportunity to witness this bygone era," the show's organizers said in a release.

Seats for "Jaanta Raja" are available for prices ranging from 30 to 125 pounds ($46-$193).

Shivaji is closely linked with regional politics and identity in India's financial capital Mumbai, capital of India's Maharashtra state. The airport and main train station are named after the Maratha ruler, who is also one of the symbols of a Hindu cultural revival promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A statue of Shivaji is to be erected off Mumbai's coast in the Arabian Sea which, when completed, would rival the Statue of Liberty in New York.

(Writing by Tony Tharakan; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Tom Heneghan)