Premchand’s contributionto the world of Hindi literature is uncomparable. Dramatech Theatre Group recently paid a tribute to the author by staging three of his well-known classics — Do Bailon Ki Katha, Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Nimantran.
‘All the three stories have never been staged before. So this was a novel chance to try and experience bringing the bard alive. Premchand is known to create a world of idealistic noble characters which in itself are a great food for thought for theatre specifically,’ says Ravi Raj Sagar, director of Premchand: Three Comedies for Families and Children.
Since Premchand has been staged several times across the theatre circuit, what new did the play offer? ‘So has been The Ramayan and plays by Shakespeare and Tennnessee Williams. In fact, classics have a timeless appeal and that’s why they are recreated all the time. While the oldies want to relive the joy of the works they read long ago, the younger generation is curious to understand what makes these stories tick, explains Sagar. ‘The main source was Premchand’s Bal kathaye. The short stories in turn were converted into one act plays of 30 minutes each,’ says Sagar.
Since it is a large craft play, challenges followed the art. ‘From selecting to dramatising and casting, it took more than 3 months. We rehearsed for almost seven months to perfect the roles,’ Sagar says.