Journey into a mind

True story

Gnatak is presenting ‘The Train Driver’ — a  play by Athol Fugard at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield on March 21 at 8 pm and on March  22, 3 pm and 6.30 pm. The play is directed by Anik Ghosh. The cast includes Rohit Dave and Abraham Karimpanal.

‘The Train Driver’ by Athol Fugard was inspired by the true story of a mother who with her three small children committed suicide on the train tracks outside Cape Town, South Africa.

Roelf Visagie is an Afrikaner train driver, who runs over a suicidal black woman and her baby strapped to her back. Driven slightly crazed by his ‘first hit’, Roelf goes to the graveyard were the victim is perhaps buried.

There in seeking to assuage his guilt he meets Simon, the person who buries ‘the ones with no names’. In his dealings with the elderly gravedigger, Roelf slowly gains a better understanding of himself and his people till he is able to find the catharsis he needs to finally forgive himself.
‘The Train Driver’ is a play about the guilt of the privileged few, the suffering of the many and the existential hopelessness of a country trying to come to terms with a violent past as it negotiates an uncertain future. Athol Fugard at 80 is South Africa’s best known playwright, and has been working in the theatre as a playwright, director and actor for more than 50 years.

Anik Ghosh, is a graduate of FTII, Pune. He is an independent film-maker, having scripted and directed various telefilms, mini-series and documentaries for TV.  Prior to joining FTII, he was an active member of Gnatak having directed the first production of ‘The Island’ by Athol Fugard in 1979. He is a member of the Indian Film and TV Directors’ Association and a life member of the Film Writers’ Association. Gnatak was born in 1979 when a group of friends came together to perform.

“We have been a pioneer in English Theatre in Bangalore; a name every old Bangalorean can identify with. We took part in ‘Deccan Herald’’s very first theatre festival in 1980, and since then, have staged many plays, far too numerous to mention,” says the group.
Tickets, priced at Rs 300, are available at the venue and on

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