Nandita Das has played several hard-hitting roles on screeneffortlessly, roles that have left an indelible impact on our minds. Now, the award-winning actor will be seen essaying a French woman, Anne-Marie Stretter, in Gates to India Song, a new play that is being staged as part of the Bonjour India Festival.
Helmed by renowned French director Eric Vigner, Gates to India Song is a perfect blend of two works. The Vice-Consul and The India Song — written by Marguerite Duras, one of the most important French writers of the 20th century.
“Both texts recount the impossible love story between Anne-Marie Stretter and the Vice Consul of Lahore at the Embassy of France in Calcutta. The works are inextricably bound. Between them there is a game of mirrors, voices, actions. I wanted to mix them all up on stage.
I wanted Duras’ writing to penetrate into Indian theatre by allowing Indian actors to assume the characters of their French colonists living in a literary and imaginary India,” says Vigner. Apart from Das, Indian actors Suhas Ahuja, Subodh Maskara and Neeraj Kabi comprise rest of the cast.
The production retains elements of passion and colonial domination from the original texts while the stage is reminiscent of a painting or a sculpture.