Evergreen play gets a tech twist

Artist Rahul Deshpande is doing everything he can to resuscitate the dying art form of Sangeet Natak. The Guide chats with him on the eve of his third musical -- Sangeet Maanapmaan

A play that was immortalised by veterans such as Kakasaheb Khadilkar, Bal Gandharva, Keshavrao Bhonsale and Dinanath Mangeshkar has been re-staged by Rahul Deshpande with a twist. This time around, the musical will use animated visual projections of the sets in lieu of regular sets. Deshpande, who is also the lead actor of the play, says, "Marathi musicals are an age-old tradition and reviving them is a big responsibility."

Cast of Sangeet Maanapman at their dress rehearsal 

Since these plays are 70-80 years old and the average age of the cast is 25, how difficult was it to memorise the dialogues? Rahul says, "We had no video or DVD to compare our performances to. It is very difficult to memorise the dialogues. We have been spending days memorising the age old language. Fortunately, there was no problem amongst our cast and our director Nipun Dharmadikari who has done such offbeat work before, was very patient and understanding."

Contrary to perception, the cast admits that the lack of physical sets did not make it difficult to rehearse for the play. Sayali Panse, the debutante actor and female lead, says,  "Fortunately for me, this is the first time I am trying my hand at acting which is why I had no fixed rules. I just listened to Nipun and I am hoping that everything works out well."

The play is about the dichotomy between the rich and the poor and Deshpande says that one of the main reasons he chose to work on this particular play is the songs. 

On December 18, 5 pm
At Yashwantrao Chauhan Natyagriha, Kothrud.

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