I attended an English play Yayati, last Friday. Pune has a vibrant theatre movement and almost all shows are full house performances. Marathi being the most popular language, followed by Hindi and English. I used to be a regular play goer in the nineties but stopped after 2002 about which I shall write later.
Yayati is a play based on a character in our Epic, Mahabaratha. His story was adapted for the stage by Girish Karnad, one of our noted playwrights many years ago in Kannada, one of our local languages. He was requested to translate this into English to enable a drama troupe based in Bengaluru Jagriti, to stage the play there. Having successfully run there, the troupe brought it to Pune as part of a local drama festival and Manjiree, Ranjan and I went to see it last Friday.
This photograph shows the cast, crew, playwright and the director taken in Bengaluru. Girish Karnad is the tallest male there.
This one shows some of the cast on stage after the show in Pune. The gent in the middle of those ladies is another stage and film celebrity, Amol Palekar who had come to see the play. His wife, screenplay writer Sandhya Gokhale can be seen at the extreme right.
Normally speaking wild horses would not have been able to drag me to see a play in any of our theatres here. I stopped going to see plays as, the seats are inevitably uncomfortable and my replaced/revised hip joints makes it physically uncomfortable for me.
Yayati however was special and despite knowing that I would be uncomfortable, I went to see one of my all time favourite ladies. She features as the last one on the right in the top photograph and the second from the left in the bottom one. She is Vandana Prabhu, my very talented niece who not only is an accomplished actor but, also directs plays. How could I not attend a play with her acting in it and being staged in Pune?
The play was brilliant and so was Vandana. The entire cast were remarkably professional and their delivery of dialogues and monologues were totally fault free and smooth. I thoroughly enjoyed the show despite the discomfort of the seats.