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An act for womanhood

An act for womanhood
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Women issues have taken the front seat from a few years. From films, books, social media, to theatre, everything is grappling with the situation of women. New Delhi Players came up with a new production, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in Hindi as Gudiya Ghar. It is one of the finest plays written on the subject of women’s rights and has the distinction of being the most performed play internationally perhaps because it’s as close as one could get to the truth of hypocrisy in accepted gender roles in a marriage, in those times and even today. It is designed and directed by Basab Bhattacharya whose last production Sandhya Chhaya was warmly received by all.

For all those who don’t know what this 1879 play is about, here’s a quick synopsis! Nora, the protagonist, and Torvald Helmer are happily married. Torvald has been promoted to bank manager and their money worries are over. But Nora has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature, and with her husband’s new power comes the threat of blackmail. Over three acts, the play culminates when Nora’s lie is exposed and Torvald first blames, then forgives her. But he is abandoned as Nora recognises the truth of her situation. She accuses her husband, and her father before him, of having used her as a doll, and declares herself unfit to be a wife or mother until she has learned to be herself. The ideal wife and mother walks out of the marriage.

The play was put together in one set of a very simple European home, just as live music added to the drama created by a handful of actors. The costumes were English too. But the dialogues were in Hindi. The aim of the play is often to put across the idea, which kind of got lost at some instances when the words got mispronounced and fumbled upon by the Hinglish speaking actors. The protagonist, Priyanka Sharma or Nora held the stage really well with the beautiful smile she has. We loved how she would stay worried at one instance and flip to the meri gilheri, the ever happy woman in front of her husband. The chemistry between the couple was also dominated by Nora, and quite well. Sahil Mittal, who played Torvald, was also a great actor, but it would be great if he could be more confident of the fact that he is a good actor! Supporting actors who played the roles of  Linde (Suman), Rank (Sunil Rohatgi) and Krogstad (Animesh Singhal) were better than the lead actors. Our favourite was Krogstad. His strong voice infused life into the character he played. Also, the chemistry between him and Nora was applaudable. It was a well rehearsed and well put up show and we will be looking forward to future productions.     
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