Bangalore Little Theatre is back with a psychological thriller – “Tell Me The Name of a Flower.” This is the second of a new programme called “BLT GOLD” wherein BLT celebrates classic plays from their archives of over 200 plays done in the past 56 years. 

Tell me the name of a flower is the English adaptation of noted Gujarati playwright Madhu Rye. This play was earlier performed in 1979 by BLT.

Tell me the name of a flower is a murder mystery unraveled through the lives of the members of a theatre company. Suspense, thrill, and drama subtly weave in the intrigue of the play.

It is a classic portrayal of six petals of a multi-shaded flower, petals each colored with Pride, Helplessness, Greed, Fear, Blind Love, and Deadly Illusions. This psychological thriller revolves around a murder born of these various shades and the essence of the beautiful yet dangerous nature of the mind. Kanta has an affair with her husband’s best friend and the scene of the revelation brings out the news of their close friend Jyotsna’s affair from the past. With Jyotsna’s previous boyfriend blackmailing the couple with sneaky evidence, who will get killed out of the six under one roof that night becomes the crux of the story. The deepest vulnerabilities are tested and their impact forms the theme of the play.

Madhu Rye is a renowned contemporary Gujarati playwright, novelist and story writer. Born in Gujarat and educated at Calcutta, he started writing in the 1960s and became known for his stories and plays. His experience at the University of Hawaii introduced him to experimental writing and improvisations as writing aid, which later led him to a movement against theatre of the absurd. He has adapted his novels into plays and some plays into novels. The most notable is Kimble Ravenswood which later was loosely adapted into a Hindi TV series and a Hindi film, What’s Your Rashee?

Koipan Ek Phoolnu Naam Bolo To (“Tell Me The Name of a Flower”) was translated into fourteen languages, broadcast by the All India Radio and adapted as a telefilm by Ketan Mehta for Doordarshan. The English translation was done by Vijay Padaki, a renowned playwright and a management professional. Padaki directed the BLT’s 1979 production of the play:

You should know that the 1979 production had the finest actors of Bangalore in it. And (ahem) a director of repute. Take a look at the 1979 playbill. I can tell you that this team’s acting was actually superior. That made the overall production a shade better than mine! The nicest things about the acting were (a) all on stage were uniformly good (rather than one or two standing out and one or two flat), terrific teamwork in performance, pulling together extremely well, and (c) the pace and fluency struck by the actors. Kudos! The only edge the earlier production had was in stagecraft, and that was because the crew there had better facilities – stage, lights, etc. BUT …. you guys accomplished a lot within the limitations of the Alliance Francaise hall. And the deficiencies didn’t matter at all, with the strong storytelling on. The innovative use of space was a major plus.

Vijay Padaki has written 42 plays, besides several adaptations and translations. His first major translation project was this play. Seagull has published the pair of Rye plays that he translated. They have both been hugely successful BLT productions.

The cast is a team of passionate first time and experienced actors from varied backgrounds including an Entrepreneur, Engineer, Executive coach, HR Professional and a Theatre student.

“Tell Me The Name of a Flower." Press photo courtesy of BLT

Tell Me The Name of a Flower. Press photo courtesy of BLT

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.