Those who think that mythology is boring and they can’t connect to it, need to re-think. Theatre director Gopal Sharman’s stage production, The Ramayana, that will be staged today in the city is a contemporary interpretation of the epic.
“I have tried to adapt the epic to modern times. Sita is no-more a meek woman. She is shown as a tough, thinking woman who speaks her mind out and is not afraid to answer back or fight with Ravana,” says Sharman, also the writer of the play. He has shown the lengthy epic in a matter of two and half hours. “We have cut the war scenes and focused more on relationships between Sita and Ram, the brother and the sons with their father.”
After being performed as a one-woman solo performance by actor Jalabala Vaidya for more than 40 years on Broadway, London’s West End, United Nations Headquarters, National Theatres of Europe, Canada, as far as the Fiji Islands, and more than 35 Indian cities, the Ramayana is now being presented to city folks with a young cast. While Vaidya still opens the play as a contemporary narrator Katha Vachaka, King Dasharath and Kaikeyi and closes the play as Rama, Sita, the main acts of the play is performed by actors like Jalabala’s talented grand-daughter Nisa Shetty as Sita, Vikalp Mudgal as Rama, Zahed Aman Khan as Lakshmana and Vidur Mohan as Ravana. “The young actors add a wonderful dimension to the play that I have been enacting alone for more than 40 years,” says Vaidya.
Though the play has travelled the world and also been termed India’s gift to Broadway by New York Times in 1975, it is being performed in the city after a gap of more than twenty years. “It’s like a true homecoming,” says Sharman.
Catch it here
What: The Ramayana by Gopal Sharman
When: November 3, 6:30pm Tickets: Rs 350 available at the venue
Where: Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Near RML Horpital
Nearest Metro Station: Patel Chowk on Yellow Line