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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > Explore the beauty of Marathi plays at this theatre festival in Mumbai

Explore the beauty of Marathi plays at this theatre festival in Mumbai

Updated on: 17 May,2024 09:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devashish Kamble | theguide@mid-day.com

A three-day festival celebrating Marathi theatre will bring together works by veterans and young experimental theatre makers under one roof in the city

Explore the beauty of Marathi plays at this theatre festival in Mumbai

(Left) Dilip Prabhavalkar and (right) Vijay Kenkre at a reading of their new play Patra Patri

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Urban theatre audiences dipping their toes in regional waters usually draw their proverbial line at plays set in Hinglish. Marathi theatre, in the absence of such a hybrid tongue, has remained somewhat of a mystery to those unfamiliar with the language. A theatre festival titled Pratibimb will bring handpicked Marathi plays out of the ‘natyagruhas’ scattered in the city to the global stage at the National Centre For Performing Arts today.


Rajeshri Shinde, festival director, believes the festival is a revival rather than a fresh introduction. “In the 1980s and ‘90s, NCPA would regularly host Marathi plays written by stalwarts such as PL Deshpande, who would frequent the stages here. Slowly, the shows moved out to close-knit hubs elsewhere,” she recalls.


A moment from Sachin Shinde’s play Dagad Aani Maati
A moment from Sachin Shinde’s play Dagad Aani Maati


The three-day festival will open with the first-ever presentation of Patra Patri, starring thespian Dilip Prabhavalkar in director and actor Vijay Kenkre’s adaptation of the former’s eponymous satirical book. Alongside other popular plays like Irawati Karnik’s romantic comedy Jar Tar Chi Goshta, the line-up features promising new talents like Swapnil Jadhav who will present his family drama Astitva, while the alumni of Ramnarain Ruia College’s theatre department, will present Golkonda Diamonds, an exploration of the sociocultural state of the world. We learn that seven of the eight performances at the festival will be accompanied by subtitles projected on black screens on either side of the stage.

A moment from Golkonda Diamonds performed by alumni of the theatre department of Ramnarain Ruia College
A moment from Golkonda Diamonds performed by alumni of the theatre department of Ramnarain Ruia College

“We aim to present narratives not only from the usual Mumbai-Pune circles, but also from the hinterlands, where some supremely talented troupes have sprung up lately,” Shinde shares. To that end, the festival has invited Sachin Shinde’s directorial Dagad Aani Maati, which follows a young farmer’s quest to put his village on the map. “We want to show city audiences how the other side of the country lives, away from comforts and technological developments. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with Mumbai audiences,” Sachin revealed over a call from Nashik.

Rajeshri Shinde
Rajeshri Shinde

For those interested in venturing beyond the stage, an acting and a set design workshop will transport participants to the backstage. The festival director elaborates, “Over the last 14 years, audiences have increasingly shown interest in the acoustics, stage set-up, and production of the plays we stage. We hope these workshops spark fresh interest for the performing arts in young minds.” 
 
ON May 17 to May 19
AT NCPA, Nariman Point. 
LOG ON TO ncpamumbai.com 
ENTRY Rs 200 onwards (for individual shows)

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