I was tired and not in the mood to watch a play! But sometimes, doing something that is not quite what you want to do pays pretty good dividends!
Sories In Songs is a play that was not just a dividend but a jackpot! Researched by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan and directed by Sunil Shanbag whose last play S*x, M*rality and Cens*rship was enthralling; this one is a rare gem. It is possibly made rarer by the fact that the play will have very few shows across the country.
The play, as the name suggests, is a collection of stories through songs. Starting in the ancient times, travelling through the days of the British rule right down to modern India, each little act is beautiful, both in content and delivery. Be it the tale of the elite British lady trying and sort of failing to learn ‘Hindu’ music much to the bewilderment of the local expert Khanum Jaan; the Bahadur ladki who eludes the lecherous advances of a British soldier; the tawaif who becomes a participant in the Indian freedom movement after meeting Mahatma Gandhi or the beleaguered family who try to get some favours from a not-so-gullible Indian royal…the performers make each story come alive through sheer genuis. It is a tough one to act, dance and sing at the same time – but they make it look so simple! The musicians are exemplary and add beauty to each melodys. Unfortunately I do not know the names of all the artists. But a very special mention goes to Ketaki Thatte who is as brilliant as she was in SM&S and Namit Das whose voice is simply sublime and energy infectious.
I understand they will be travelling through the country for a specific number of shows. Those of you who love theatre and music, do NOT miss this one!
Copyright © Tara Verma June 2011
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