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HindustanTimes Mon,01 Sep 2014

A love story by Marguerite Duras, with actor Nandita Das

PTI  New Delhi, March 08, 2013
First Published: 20:03 IST(8/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:08 IST(8/3/2013)
Actor-filmmaker Nandita Das is setto enact a love-story at the residence of French ambassador.
 
Three rooms, a lobby and the garden of the ambassador's residence will form the setting for Nandita who will essay the the story of a love lived in an India of the 30s, in The Gates to India Song, a French production, which is part of the ongoing Bonjour India Festival.
 
Helmed by renowned French director Eric Vigner, the play is a mix of two works The Vice-Consul and The India Song both written in the 1970s by Marguerite Duras, a noted 20th century French writer.
 
The text of Gates to India Song revolves around one night at a reception held at the French Embassy in Calcutta in 1937.
 
Das who plays the protagonist Anne-Marie Stretter goes from room to room inside the ambassador's residence with the audience trailing her.
 
"The director calls it as a theatre experience", says Nandita who was also part of the performance that was earlier staged at Prithvi theatre in Mumbai and the Tagore House in Kolkata.
 
"We are performing at the French ambassador's residence from, March 9th to March 13th. It was very different experience for me to do something out of my comfort zone. It is very experimental also," says the actor.
 
Bollywood, says Nandita, is only one part of her life.
 
"Acting is not actually my profession but I perceived it. If you have seen my past 15 years, in one year I have done five films and the next year I haven't done any," says the actor.
 
"Watching the play will be actually a journey for the audience," says director Eric Vigner who likes to see the two books of Marguerite Duras, as a theatrical journey.
 
India Song was written in 1972 for National Theatre Commission in London. At the beginning the novel was written in English, but the traces of English version was lost. It was then written in French.
 
After one year Duras did a radio play and subsequently next year she did a film India Song that was screened at 1974 Cannes Festival. Vice Consul was written in 1966.
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