Fish Tree Moon, an Indo-Korean play explores the idea of happiness
Korean playwright and director Yosup Bae, co-founder of the popular theatre group Tuida (in South Korea), comes to town with a new story to tell. This narrative is inspired by Indian and Korean folktales. It’s the tale of an odd group of creatures — an old fish, a spirited girl, an eager boy, an ascetic and a bare tree. All of these characters are put together for Yosup’s story which will be staged as the play Fish Tree Moon. “The main inspiration for the plot is from the story of the Kalpataru tree,” says Yosup. In Indian folklore, the Kalpataru is a wishing tree that grants people’s wishes. “One of the stories about the tree is how a man who wishes for something great dies before his wish is fulfilled. His fear kills him. The man is killed by his own thoughts. This was the beginning of the idea behind Fish Tree Moon,” explains Yosup.
Following the heart
The five characters in the play go on the long journey to climb the top of Mount Kailash where Kalpataru is found. They all want their wishes to be granted. “But on the way, the old fish realises that it cannot complete the journey and that her death will help others scale the mountain. So she sacrifices herself,” reveals the director. The journey of these characters seeking happiness is the main theme of this play. Every character meets each other while they are on their individual paths to discover happiness. At the same time, the play also explores the ideas of magic and destiny, and the pursuit of one’s wishes.
The other significant aspect of the play is the use of masks that have been inspired by Indian art. “The expressions on the masks and the stage art are inspired by the Gond paintings of India and one of the songs is close to Baul music,” enthuses Yosup. Music has been composed by well-known musician Vasu Dixit. This collaborative play between Ranga Shankara and InKo Centre features Indian actors, musicians and Korean technicians who have worked on stage design, lights and art.
Talking about the larger message of the play, Yosup offers, “People think that if their wishes are fulfilled, they will be happy. But they don’t realise that they can be happy with what they have. Happiness is in our minds .”
Rs 200. December 22-23. At Ranga Shankara