Curtain calls

ByProma Chakraborty

Jun 7, 2019

War, crime, history, teenage love, same sex relationship —  the genre of plays at the Summer Theatre Festival at Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts (SRCPA) couldn’t get any more diverse.

Offering a fine blend of plays from contemporary to classics, this annual festival is back again with its exciting bouquet of well-acclaimed, award-winning productions along with great opening shows for Delhi theatre lovers.

Commencing with a classic acclaimed contemporary play, Tughlaq is based on real incidents and the aftermath of Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s maniacal decision to shift the capital of his empire from Delhi to Daulatabad and back. Written by Girish Karnad in 1964, Tughlaq has since been translated and performed across the country and is back on stage with K Madavane’s rendition of the same.

Spanning over nine days the festival will see Vijay Tendulkar’s Meeta ki Kahani – a highly topical dark comedy on same-sex relationship followed by an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.

While the festival brings plays that have been showcased before, it is the strength of the performers that makes it better. “Each play is rehearsed with 100 per cent honesty to recreate the magic on the stage. Actors are put on regular physical training and literary sessions to live upto the character,” says Sameep Singh, Repertory Chief, SRCPA.

The lineup also includes Prem Kabootar by Manav Kaul which depicts the teenage love that gives butterflies in one’s stomach followed by Urubhangam which explores the notion of war and questions the inevitability of violence. Another play Antigone, believed to be written around 441 B.C. by Sophocles is one of the ageless tragedies that draws on a contemporary canvas, with specifics of conflicts between state and the individual.

“The audience applaud is what we all look forward to. Since festival has been an integral part of the SRCPA events, I feel glad to see patrons revisiting the plays bringing along new audience too,” says Singh.

Other masterpieces featured are Dilapidated by Kaushik Bose, Girish Karnad’s Agni and Barkha and finally concluding with Arsenic and Old Lace – a farcical black comedy.

The festival is staged at Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts from June 8 to 16