An arena where the words ‘action’ and ‘cut’ lose their charm, is called the stage where plays and exemplary performances come alive.
From the Bharat Rang Mahotsav to the Modern Theatre Festival and from Short and Sweet (10-minute theatre) Festival to Ibsen Theatre Festival, Delhiites got a chance to taste it all.
While Seema Biswas’ solo portrayal in Stree Patra during NSD’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav had Sammukh spilling over with audiences, her solo rendition in Jeevito Mrito, directed by Anuradha Kapur in the recent Modern Theatre Festival was no less applauded.
Among classics, while the unparalleled Tumhari Amrita with Shabana Azmi and Farooque Sheikh saw its closure in Delhi, the City witnessed the opening of the play’s Punjabi translation Teri Amrita directed by Om Puri. The veteran actor shared stage with the spunky and effervescent Divya Dutta.
Delhi summer saw crowds attracted to Mandi House where NSD repertory and SRC Repertory staged the best from their lot, to keep theatre lovers captivated. NSD’s Summer Theatre Festival’s opening play was Roysten Abel’s Old Town which transformed NSD premises into a carnival to be remembered.
The Mahindra Theatre Festival gave a platform to not just good old Hindi and English plays but also the regional theatre. Mohan Agashe’s first Hindi enactment in Mohan Rakesh’s Adhe Adhure to the Assamese play Sup Ek Prahasan, most turned out to be visual treats.
Delhiites were treated to iconic performances by well-known actors like Tom Alter and Yashpal Sharma. While Tom Alter was seen in impeccable performances like Sons of Babur, Maulana Azad and a new play Lal Qile Ka Aakhiri Mushaira with Pierrot’s Group, Yashpal Sharma was seen essaying the role of Mohammad-bin Tughlaq with Himani Shivpuri, penned by Girish Karnad and directed by Bhanu Bharti, staged at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Theatre societies of various universities, performed not just in their respective campuses but also made a mark in festivals organised across the City in other colleges. St Stephen’s ShakeSoc staged an unforgettable Macbeth while Kirori Mal’s theatre society The Players came up with a very refined performance in The Line.
Adaptations made intellectual Delhiites wonder at the sheer talent and capacity of the new generation especially during the Ibsen Festival by Delhi University and Delhi Ibsen Festival. Other adaptations such as Guide based on Dev Anand starrer movie Guide, was an out an out crowd puller.
The staging of Strindberg’s Miss Julie by Sohaila Kapoor and original script of Khoya Khoya Chand by Feisal Alkazi made audiences experience a spate of emotions. Stempenyu by Israel’s Cameri Theatre got caught in controversy and A Bird’s Eye View, which is object theatre by Choiti Ghosh made even the inanimate act.
In contrast, the ten-minute theatre festival, Short and Sweet worked like information overdose for the sceptics who realised that so much could be scripted and delivered in a very short span of time.