Playwright: Mohan Rakesh
Director: Sekhar Samaddar
Group: Abhaash Dakshin Kolkata
Duration: 2 hrs
The palace of Raja Nanda is preparing for the celebration of the lust festival under the supervision of Rani Sundari. However, the festival gets ruined as a few princes plan not to attend it. The next day, Sundari wakes up and tells Nanda to help her with her make-up. Meanwhile, Buddha, along with his monks, arrives at the palace gates for alms but leaves when he doesn’t get any response. A regretful Nanda wants to go to him and ask for forgiveness. Sundari allows him asking him to get back soon and help her. Nanda returns in the dark hours of the night with his head shaved off. Will she accept him now?
I came across Mohan Rakesh when I went to see his play Aadhe Adhure directed by Shymananda Jalan. While teaching at Rabindra Bharati University, I translated two plays of Mohan Rakesh with the help of my Student, Sravasti Roy; Lehron Ke Rajhans and Paer Tale Ki Zameen. After many years, I decided to perform Lehron Ke Rajhans in Bengali. The play shows Kapilavastu, capital of Magadh Empire during 240-300 AD. Prince Siddharth is now Gautam Buddha. In the palace, the young wife of King Nanda is preparing to celebrate the lust festival to keep the citizens of the kingdom, and her husband, the step-brother of Buddha, trapped in materialistic life. The stage design uses deep red colour in the palace chamber symbolizing lust and desire. The rest of the stage is kept neutral. The costumes, jewellery and drinking vessels have the semblance of that age. Stage lights and shadows have been arranged to convey the meaning of the play.
Sekhar Samaddar is an actor, playwright and director who is working as a senior professor in Jadavpur University. Founder and director of Abhaash, Dakshin Kolkata, editor of Samay Natyabhaash, and co-editor of Paschimbanga Natya Akademi Patrika, he has written 47 full-length and short plays adapted from literature. He started his theatre career with Bohurupee in 1976 and started writing articles for leading journals of Bengal and worked as a theatre critic in Desh. His first book was published on Tagore`s Visarjan named Visarjan- Rupe, Rupantare in 1992. His first original Play Thirthoyatra was published in Sas Annual Theatre Journal in 1996 which was highly acclaimed. His original plays are Apurbo Golap, Ramanimohan, Sundar Bibir Pala, Bhalo Chhele, and Rupkatha Chupkatha. He directed his own plays and received Akademi and other awards for Apurbo Golap and Ramanimohan. Bratya Basu`s Chatushkon and Mohan Rakesh’s Laharir Rajhansho are his recent successful theatre works.
Mohan Rakesh alias Madan Mohan Guglani was a Hindi short story writer, novelist and playwright. He wrote four full length plays i.e. Ashad Ka Ek Din, Adhe Adhure, Leheron ke Raajhans, and Paer Tale ki Zamin. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his first play Ashad Ka Ek Din.
Abhaash, Dakshin Kolkata was established in August 2003. It imparts training to students in all aspects of theatre including acting, research, scriptwriting, editing and publishing. It publishes Samay Natyabhaash an annual theatre journal. Abhaash also brought to stage an erstwhile famous actor Chapal Bhadury of Bengali Jatra. It aims is to make its repertory as a repository of theatre and culture, and create the aesthetics of theatre by including technical components in its training. Its focus is to highlight both Indian and Bengali tradition, culture and literature.
Cast & Credits
|Raja Nanda||Sekhar Samaddar|
|Rani Sundari||Bindiya Ghosh|
|Gourango||Arup Ratan Ganguly|
|Maitreyo||Swapan Roy Choudhury|
|Set Design||Soumik Piali|
|Set Making||Madan Haldar|
|Light Design||Sudip Sanyal|
|Back Stage||Kalyan De Sarkar, Falguni Sinha Mahapatra|
Abhaash Dakshin Kolkata
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