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A play within a play

Theatre enthusiasts should watch Kaumudi, a play that questions the existence of the medium while removing the layers of an estranged father-son relationship

After a successful run in Bangalore, Kaumudi, a play that explores the dynamics between an estranged father-son duo and in turn poses several questions about morality, art, and relationships, is set for its premiere staging in the city on August 22.

Sandeep Shikhar and Kumud Mishra during a scene from the play
Sandeep Shikhar and Kumud Mishra during a scene from the play

An Indian Ensemble production, Kaumudi is centered on a father and son duo, who play the characters of Eklavya’s ghost and Abhimanyu, respectively, in a theatre, in late 1960’s Allahabad. The father, Satyasheel, who is a great actor and has almost lost his sight, is at his final three performances. Thus, son Paritosh, who grew up with the void of not having a father by his side, has been asked to step in and take his father’s place after the former’s retirement.

Shubhrajyoti Barat
Shubhrajyoti Barat in a still from the play

In light of this, Kaumudi hinges on three central questions: Whose life is more valuable – an older or a younger person’s? Is personal ethic more important than public ethic? Does art have a function, and do we make art or does art make us?

“Several questions give rise to debates in the play. But not one answer comes out because these are provocations and will remain so. There is no right and wrong here as there are several connotations of it in the play that we are trying to explore,” says Abhishek Majumdar, the play’s writer and director.

Kaumudi has been inspired by two texts — Anand’s Malayalam novel, Vyasam Vigneswaram and Jorge Luis Borges’ essay, Blindness. Kumud Mishra will play the lead role, supported by Sandeep Shikhar, Gopal Dutt and Shubhrajyoti Barat.

Speaking of the tediousness of presenting a play like this, Majumdar, seems content, “It’s my labour of love, so I would say that it was fun and not painful to write or direct it. This has been in my head for the last 12 years. I’m glad, it’s finally taken shape.”

From: August 22 to 24
Tickets: Rs 300
At: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu. 
Call: 26149546

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