Raavan ki Ramayan to premiere this week at GD Birla Sabhagar Festival, Kolkata
Atul Satya Koushik's play explores the perspective of Raavan, a character who has been demonised in history
The Film and Theatre Society, headed by Atul Satya Koushik, will be staging two plays- Raavan ki Ramayan and Ballygunge 1990, as part of the GD Birla Sabhagar Festival. The fourth edition of the festival has been organised by Centre Stage Creations, in association with Sanskriti Saagar, and will see the likes of Puneet Issar, Annup Sonii and Nishtha Paliwal Tomar, adorn the stage with their performances, while the third play is by the theatre group Wajood, which will be staging Titli ki Maut, directed by Chaiti Ghoshal.
The play Raavan ki Ramayan dwells on the story of Raavan and shows different facets of his character, and other characters from his family, like Surpanakha, his sister and Mandodari his wife. But this is not a retelling of the age-old saga of good versus evil. Instead, the narrative and the dialogues throw light on those character’s perspectives, who have always been considered evil. In the process, the narrative throws light on the subtext of the story.
The narrative is essentially about the downfall of a man who used his power to avenge the wrongs done to him and his kith and kin. “Whenever I try to pick stories from the mythological tales of India, I try to give it a new interpretation. People have narrated the same tale for thousands of years, but we wanted to go beyond the typical representation of good versus bad,” says Atul Satya Koushik, the director.
Instead, we chose to narrate the epic from Raavan’s perspective and give voice to the characters whose versions we never get to hear,” he adds. “But we haven’t changed the ending and Raavan like in the older epic, dies at the hands of Ram,” adds the director who has staged other mythological plays like Chakravyuh and Draupadi in the past.
The two-and-half-hour play will have songs by Raja Rao and Latika Jain and the music has been composed by Rao. The elaborate sets and costumes have been arranged by Koushik's team.
Raavan ki Ramayan will premiere at GD Birla Sabhagar on March 22, at 6:30 pm