Slice of Australia in old Delhi
Miss Blossom Callahan Patialewaali is a play which delves deep into the life of a cabaret dancer. An Australian play adapted to an Indian setting, it emerges from a suburban underbelly. Miss Blossom Callahan is a former cabaret artiste who struts in tattered laces, lost in her imaginary world and attempts to manipulate the real one.
An Indo-Australian play written by Australian playwright and actor Stephen House, brought the Melbourne-based character to the dilapidated lanes of old Delhi.
‘The name Miss Blossom Callahan Patialewaali leaves little to the imagination. The last name was added as an improvisation to Indianise the play and suit the Delhi theatre circuit,’ says House.
The 70-minute English play amalgamates murder and madness in this tragi-comic play. Four actor/directors from India and Australia come together in this Indo-Australian performance to enact the tight story of an aging tart who dreams of a life full of possibilities.
‘It’s a crazy play about ‘play', and in this case, it means manipulation,’ says Smita Bharti, a Delhi-based theatreperson, who has adapted the script of Australian play Miss Blossom Callahan to suit the Indian context, which is now called Miss Blossom Callahan Patialewaali.
‘Miss Blossom Callahan Patialewaali reminisces about days gone by, but her imaginary world leaves little distinction between what is real and what is not. Even though it’s an Australian play set in an Indian context, we didn’t have to change much because portraying human behaviour and its ugly side is a universal theme,’ adds Bharti, who plays the lead role.
Besides House, the play has three Indian directors acting in it as well. The other two Indian directors, Ishwar Shunya and Sonali Sharma, played the roles of a drug addict and the landlady of the building where Patialewaali lives, respectively. ‘Though the theme is universal, there are some cultural differences which we took care of,’ says House.