S. Ravi

S. Ravi

Moulting Of Traditions

Staged at the ongoing 8th Theatre Olympics, Sabir Khan’s Doodhan mirrors the hardships of Kalbeliyas, the traditional protectors of snakes. We tend to believe that we are moving forward but sometimes a little anecdote or observation jolts you out of complacency. You realize that the march of modernity is not a straight line and that many traditions and customs that we left behind were not as atavistic as we were made to believe. This is precisely what happened with veteran director Sabir Khan whose Rajasthani play Doodhan was staged recently at the ongoing 8th Theatre Olympics. The story follows the life of...

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Adaptation of Patrice Lumumba’s Life Plays on Indian Stage

Based on a short story of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Lokesh Jain’s Kala Sooraj Safed Sayee brings the intrepid spirit of Patrice Lumumba to stage. The United Nations was formed after World War II to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights. However, over the years, the UN has been unable to do so. This was exquisitely captured by the well-known writer Khwaja Ahmad Abbas in his story Kala Sooraj Safed Sayee in the mid-60s. The story focuses on Patrice Emery Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected Prime Minister who championed the cause...

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Bridging the Divide at the International Theatre Festival in Kolkata

The maiden edition of International Theatre Festival organised by S.B. Park Sarbajanin presents plays laced with human emotions. The theatre lovers of Kolkata are in for a treat as they will get to watch plays from different regions at one event. Christened as International Theatre Festival, it has been organised by S.B. Park Sarbajanin which has been conducting Durga Puja in Behala of the city area for many years. Making its debut, the festival will put on board “Isi Din Isi Waqt” today with “Ashad Ka Ek Din” and “Mahajoner Nao” scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Describing the festival as a major step, Sarbajanin’s Cultural Secretary, Sanjoy Majumdar, says , “The aim is to give Kolkata’s theatre loving crowd a taste of plays in other languages and regions. This will make them aware of culture, sensibilities, literature and customs of other regions, creating a bridge of sorts between different groups.” Plays with meaning According to Sanjoy, the basic criteria of choosing the plays, is that they must leave an imprint on the audience mind. “All three plays are pregnant with deeper meanings about human emotions and convey relevant messages. Moreover, the plays should be such that viewers remember them and come back to the festival next year.” Mumbai’s Rangalay will present Abhiram Badkamkar directed “Isi Dini Isi Waqt”. “It is a contextual tale delving on globalisation and how our...

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The Economics of War in “The Spartan Conspiracy” at Akshara Theatre

Ajit Chitturi’s The Spartan Conspiracy brings to fore how the desire to control resources dictates armed conflict between nations. A powerful story coupled with astute direction and convincing performances make Ajit Chitturi’s The Spartan Conspiracy, based on playwright Dr. Vithal Rajan’s work by the same name, worth a visit. It is a humorous take on the alliance of Sparta, Mycenae and Ithaca kingdoms preparing to invade Troy. The play features many Greek mythological characters including Achilles, Helen, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Odysseus and others. Following a brief narration and a Grecian dance by Neha Sahai to set the tone, this one-act play cuts to the scene wherein one sees Menelaus, Agamemnon and Odysseus, kings of Sparta, Mycenae and Ithaca pondering over a grave problem facing them while sipping wine. Poring over a map, they are figuring out the way to attack Troy. As the audience wonders as to what all this is leading to, the story slowly unfolds making it clear the reason for all this planning. Troy which controls the olive oil trade and sea trade routes has raised the price of the commodity and also taxes on imports from other nations making it a double trouble for its trading partners. Making an appearance on stage is Achilles with the news of a further spike in the olive oil prices. In sync with modern times, Achilles is shown as...

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