Stage acts across India spice up theatre

Four plays from different genres were showcased by theatre groups at this festival

Theatre lovers in the city were in for a treat this weekend with Sparsh Natya Rang hosting its four-day drama festival ‘Hriday Manch’.

Four plays belonging to different genres of theatre, ranging from comedy and drama to romance, were showcased by different troupes. Some of these came from outside Delhi with an opportunity presenting itself in the form of Hriday Manch.

This was the third edition of the festival held at Sri Ram Centre, Mandi House, from August 28-31. 

Sparsh Natya Rang, formed in the year 2005, has been associated with a number of eminent actors, directors and writers. Not only has it provided a platform to theatre artistes but also different folk dancers, musicians and comedians. Since inception, Sparsh has also been associated with special initiatives for underprivileged children as well.

‘Hriday Manch’ is a step ahead, providing a unique platform to theatre troupes in and outside Delhi to come forward and stage plays. 

This is also a great chance for theatre enthusiasts to experience the sheer diversity in stories and story-telling techniques prevalent on-stage across India.

The festival, this time, included four plays, one performed on each day – Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-Jaan, Sakharam Binder, Bobby Breaker and Aadhi Sadi – each entertaining the audience thoroughly with generous doses of histrionics.

Curtains were raised on the festival by Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-Jaan, Sparsh Natya Rang’s own production. Written by Moliere and adapted by playwright VK Sharma and Amitabh Srivastava, it told the story of a wife seeking revenge on her husband turning him into a doctor from a drunken vagabond. Ajit Chowdhury’s music and direction received much applause.

The second play in line, Sakharam Binder, a work of Vijay Tendulkar, was presented by the Himachal Culture Research forum Theatre Repertory and director Suresh Sharma.

Sakharam openly contests the hypocrisy of the marriage system and denounces societal rules while himself ill-treating a host of destitute women he has kept at his home. 

Next, Bobby Breaker, was a heartwarming play about a young man Bobby who struggles with stammering while the society mockingly calls him ‘Bobby Breaker’. But Bobby is resolved to overcome it all, come what may, for the love of his life, Ms Choudhary.

Last but not the least, Aadhi Sadi was staged by SambhavArt group. It is written by Chandradhar Sharma Guleri, Jainendra Kumar, Yashpal and Bhishm Sahni and directed by Devendra Raj Ankur.

This was an enactment of four short stories – Ussne Kaha Tha, Pazeb, Parda and Chief ki Dawat, set in different time zones and locales. They depicted the first 50 years of modern Hindi literature all bound by the common thread of love.

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