8th Theatre Olympics: Presenting folktales and modern dilemmas
To treat theatre lovers with the theatrical extravaganza, 8th Theatre Olympics, finally marked its start on February 18. The 51-day long festival is being hosted by the National School of Drama.
The first play to be presented was based on Shikhandi, perhaps one of the earliest transgender mythological characters. The play is a comic, tongue-in-cheek retelling of this character from the epic Mahabharat. Directed by Faezeh Jalali, the play blends the traditional with the contemporary and questions the concepts of maleness, femaleness and everything in between.
It was followed by 'Caesarean Section: Essays on Suicide.' The play talks about the human impulse to commit suicide and the urge to survive that pulls them back from the brink. The play's music, composed by Eric Satie, is based on polyphonic Corsican songs blended with songs from Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, and Chechnya,. Director Jarosław Fret dons many hats – he is the founder and leader of TeatrZAR, a renowned theatre director, and actor as well as the curator of the theatre programme of Wrocław: European Capital of Culture 2016.
The third performance was Jagdev Kankali, a play built on the lore of Jagdev Parmar, one of the Parmar rulers of Malwa, as conveyed through the oral bardic tradition in Rajasthan. The play follows 'Kuchamani Khyal' style of storytelling where songs are an important part of the story and the narration. Director Rohit Mathur worked on the form for two years to bring it to the formal theatre arena.
To enthrall the audience in the upcoming days, the festival will be showcasing plays like Doodhan, The Method of National Constellations etc.