Mahesh Dattani

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Mahesh Dattani
Born (1958-08-07) 7 August 1958 (age 56)
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[edit]

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.


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.[6]


Where There's a Will", 1988

  • Dance Like a Man, 1989
  • Tara, 1990
  • Bravely Fought the Queen, 1991
  • Final Solutions, 1993[7]
  • 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. [dead link]
  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". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Bhawana Somaaya (2004-11-22). "Story teller". ScreenIndia. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  7. ^ Drama critics. "Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  8. ^ 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[edit]