Mumbia: Costume drama with a Christmas story from Japan

Updated: Dec 21, 2018, 12:52 IST | Snigdha Hasan | Mumbai

Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, a costume drama ushers in the spirit of Yuletide

Scenes from the play
Scenes from the play

It's less than a week to go for Christmas and the city is swathed in festivities. From reindeer hair bands driving the traffic signal sales to malls getting their resident Santa Claus ready for the little visitors, you can't miss them. But the true spirit of Christmas is not to be found in ephemeral pleasures, as O Henry brought out beautifully in The Gift of the Magi. It is not to be found in niggardly ways of life either, something that Dickens wove into A Christmas Carol.

For a more contemporary take on the spirit of Yuletide, the city's theatre lovers now have a Haruki Murakami Christmas story adapted into a play. "It's about a lonely character called Sheep Man, who sets out on an adventure on Christmas Eve to rid himself of a curse. During the journey, he discovers different kinds of creatures and spirit of the earth. And that's how he explores more about life," says Omkar Bhatkar, who has written and directed Sheep Man's Christmas. The play's cast includes Archana Bora, Abhishek Banerji, Sharmila Velaskar Kadne, Chandrahas Shetty and Sheldon Mascarenhas among others.

Scenes from the play

Bhatkar considers it important to bring a multicultural perspective to his plays, and through Sheep Man's Christmas, he aims to give the audience an alternate version of Christmas that is not rooted in western sensibilities. "It is in the set design and costumes that you'll find Japanese texture in the play," he adds.

The music by Jason Fernandes is a rendition of popular Christmas carols like Silent Night, We Three Kings and Feliz Navidad that makes use of instruments such as bamboo flutes. "Christmas is a very important part of my life," says Bhatkar, who also directed Christmas in the Woods last year. "But I feel that such plays made in Mumbai tend to remain limited to reindeers and Santas. Along with celebrating the spirit of Christmas, we wanted to deliver a
meaningful message."

On Today and December 28, 6.30 pm
At St Andrew's Centre for Philosophy and Performing Arts, St Dominic Road, Bandra West.
Call 9833647641
Entry Rs 300 (Students get a 50 per cent discount on the ticket)

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