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Mahesh Dattani

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Mahesh Dattani

Mahesh Dattani
Born (1958-08-07) 7 August 1958
Bangalore, India
Awards Sahitya Akademi award

Mahesh Dattani (born 7 August 1958) is an Indian director, actor, playwright and writer. He wrote such plays as Final Solutions,[1] Dance Like a Man, Bravely Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Tara, and Thirty Days in September[2][3]

He is the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award.[4] His plays have been directed by eminent directors like Arvind Gaur, Alyque Padamsee and Lillete Dubey.

Early life and background

Mahesh Dattani was born in Bangalore. He went to Baldwin Boys High School and then went on to join St. Joseph's College, Bangalore.[5] Dattani is a graduate in History, Economics and Political Science. He is a post-graduate in Marketing and Advertising Management. After reading Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in his early life, Mahesh was intetested in writing. He was influenced by Gujarati playwright Madhu Rye’s Kumarni Agashi and developed interest in play writing.[6]


Mahesh Dattani began his career as a copywriter in an advertising firm. In 1986, he wrote his first full-length play, Where There’s a Will, and since 1995, he has been working as a full-time theatre professional. He has also worked with his father in the family business.

Dattani is also a film director. His debut film is Mango Souffle, adapted from one of his plays. He also wrote and directed the movie Morning Raaga.[7]


Where There's a Will", 1988

  • Dance Like a Man, 1989
  • Tara, 1990
  • Bravely Fought the Queen, 1991
  • Final Solutions, 1993[8]
  • On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, 1998
  • Seven Circles Round The Fire (Radio play for BBC), 1998
  • 30 Days in September, 2001
  • Brief Candle, 2009
  • Where Did Leave My Purda,2012
  • The Big Fat City,2012




  • Dance Like a Man has won the award for the Best Picture in English awarded by the National Panorama in 1998
  • Sahitya Academy award for his book of plays Final Solutions and Other Plays
  • Sahitya Kala Parishad selected Final Solutions (1997), Tara (2000) and 30 days in September (2007)as best productions of the year directed by Arvind Gaur.


  1. ^ Deepa Punjani. "In Retrospect: Select plays of the 9th National Theatre Festival at Nehru Centre, Mumbai". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  2. ^ Romesh Chander (2007-03-30). "Lifting the veil". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  3. ^ "Stage On & Off". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 2005-11-19. 
  4. ^ PTI (1998-12-29). "Sahitya Academy awards announced".  
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Drama critics. "Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  9. ^ Diwan Singh Bajali (2003-02-20). "Going bananas over Mango Souffle". The Hindu. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 

9. G Baskaran, ed., Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani: Methods and Motives, Yking Books, Jaipur, 2012.

External links

  • Official site
  • Roy, Pinaki. "Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions: A Brief Rereading". Mahesh Dattani: His Stagecraft in Indian Theatre. Ed. Bite, V. New Delhi: Authors Press, 2013 (ISBN 978-81-7273-737-5), pp. 111-24.
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