Rabindranath Tagore's play, Red Oleanders, staged with a Yakshagana twist
Rabindranath Tagore penned the play Raktakarabi during 1923-24, on the hills of Shillong. He was nspired by a red oleander plant that was crushed by pieces of discarded iron. Ninety-four years later, one of Tagore’s characters, from the English version of the same play, titled Red Oleanders, has inspired theatre artiste, Prithesh Bhandary, to stage it this weekend.
Talking about what drew him to the story, Prithesh who is directing this play says, “I was studying the character, Bishu Pagla in isolation, as part of another project of mine. This led me to discover the play. I was impressed by its timelessness.” Tagore penned this play during a period of unscrupulous capitalism and environmental destruction.
It’s a poignant tale that looks at commercial exploitation, power, love and obsession that play at different levels in society. “Although set during 1600-1700 AD, it looks at issues that are still relevant today. It’s a satire on how politicians manipulate us,” explains Prithesh.
What’s interesting about this production is that Prithesh has given it a twist by having the artistes dress up as Yakshagana performers. But, he clarifies that only the body language and expressions will be in the Yakshagana style. The rest of it will be presented like a regular play.
Rs 250. Sunday, 4.30 pm. At Alliance Francaise