It is not everyday that you can get a play to run packed houses. And to do it year after year is truly commendable. Asmita Theatre Group has managed to do just that with his play Court Martial. The play, which was staged at the India Habitat Centre on Sunday, ran to packed houses once again. The play, directed by Arvind Gaur, was first performed in 1996 at Shriram Centre.
'This play allows actors to explore their role. To bring it on stage is always a wonderful experience. We have performed Court Martial in places ranging from Jammu and Kashmir to Calicut and Jaipur to Dibrugarh. We have run around 550 shows since the last 16 years,' says Gaur.
Court Martial is the story of recruit Ram Chander who is tried for murdering one of his officers and injuring another. Colonel Surat Singh, who has presided over many court martial proceedings, is intrigued by this seemingly simple case where the convict has already confessed his crime. But in due course, the realisation hits him that the stakes involved are much higher.
On the whole, the play has powerful social political content which is still relevant not only in the context of the army but also when it comes to social structure. It raises questions on the caste system and presents a combination of poetic and legal justice while providing the best of entertainment.
The play is a dialogue with a powerful script. The excellent acting and background music manages to create a nagging restlessness in the conscience of the audience.
The representation of caste-based discrimination which assumes a much larger proportion in society is realistic.