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DH Theatre Festival opens, 1st show receives standing ovation

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Dec 4 2017, 0:58 IST
A scene from 'Mother Courage and her children'.

A scene from 'Mother Courage and her children'.

The opening show of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival received a standing ovation at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Malleswaram on Sunday.

Arundhati Nag, veteran theatre person and founder of Ranga Shankara, enthralled the audience with her performance of the central character in 'Mother Courage and her Children'. The German play by Bertolt Brecht is considered one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

It was directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee and produced by QTP, a Mumbai-based theatre group.

Mother Courage runs a canteen wagon that sells supplies, food and fenny in wartime to anyone who can afford them. Her idea about war is conflicting. She tries to keep her three children away from it but doesn't want peace for it will ruin her business.

The religious war depicted, between 'extremists' and 'fundamentalists', could be set anywhere as the characters slip into Kannada, Tamil, Marathi and Hindi from time to time.

Arundhati Nag in the role of mother is humorous with her wry, sharp wit. She convincingly plays the role of the tired, shrewd woman who knows how to strike the best business deal. Just as she made the audience laugh, she also powerfully conveyed the grief of a mother who loses her children to war.

Other characters like Bhavna Pani in the role of Kamreen, the dumb daughter who hopes to find a husband in peacetime, and Asif Ali Baig, as the priest who wants to try his luck with Mother Courage, brought out the anti-war message of the play.

The stellar acting was matched with equally good music. Songs about war and peace, about a wise woman's advice to soldiers, added to the storyline.

The festival, curated by Sandbox Collective, has more to offer with plays like Pawan Kumar's 'The Woman in Me' and Prakash Belawadi's 'Boiled Beans and Toast'.

The DH Inter-Collegiate Theatre Fest will be held on Monday at Alliance Francaise. Students from St Joseph's College of Commerce, Mount Carmel College and Christ will be performing.

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