Block your date: Watch the Kannada adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play 'An Enemy of the People' in Bengaluru
In the year 1882, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote one of his most acclaimed plays An Enemy of People. A Kannada adaptation of this play will be staged in Bengaluru on February 12. Titled Janashatru, the play is directed by veteran theatre artiste-and-director, Surendranath S aka Suri.
The original text by Ibsen was written as a response to the public outcry against his previous drama, Ghosts, that openly discussed adultery and syphilis. An Enemy of the People is the story of a man who dares to speak the bitter truth and is punished for it. The Kannada adaptation, Janashatru is described as, "A production that addresses the plight and determination of one individual. It also attempts to underscore the importance of being an individual in times of majoritarian democracy."
The play, an allegory, is set in an imaginary town on the banks of a river. This town is driven by religion and since it is adjacent to the river, there are also a few factories on the banks. But then industrial waste is polluting the river, and there's only one person, a muncipality doctor who raises his voice against it. However, he is cornered by the majority in a public meeting for raising questions and is completely shunted. The note on the production states, "In a democratic government, the majority always denies liberty to individuals, refuses to acknowledge an individual’s right to live, thereby destroying the self-determination of an individual. This decimation of individual rights has been recorded across continents and epochs. What happens to individuals in such a tyrannical, majoritarian atmosphere? Voices are silenced. The individual’s freedom of expression is erased. Only the relentless defense of individual liberty can counter the majoritarianism of our times. It is, at this point, necessary to raise a voice against these trends, however little that voice may be." The play features actors BV Shruna, Keerthi Bhanu, Ganesh Shenoy, Raag Urs and Anil B.
The production is part of the Ibsen Scholarship Project - Culturing Voices through Act IV of An Enemy of the People. This is the first version of the play, as the project progresses, seven different versions of the play will be performed across Karnataka - in Mysore, Koppala, Thumari, Sheshagiri, Mangalore, Belagavi and Ilkal - by local troupes.
Rs 150. February 12-13, 3.30 and 7.30 pm. At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar