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One for the Ibsen fans

Some of the best college dramatics societies are all set to perform at a theatre festival.

art and culture Updated: Sep 18, 2010 00:42 IST
Namya Sinha

Here's good news for Delhi’s theatre lovers and especially fans of Henrik Ibsen, the 19th century Norwegian playwright. The five-day Delhi Ibsen College Festival 2010 starts in the Capital on Wednesday, September 22. Performed by Delhi University students, some of these plays may not reflect the exact layout of Ibsen’s work, but will surely be inspired from them. In other words, students will interpret some of the famous plays such as A Doll’s House and Ghost, amongst others, in a contemporary take.

Says Nissar Allana, director, Ibsen Festival, “The festival was started in 2008 with professionals theatre groups. This year we thought of including colleges. In the later stages we plan to include the winning colleges in the main Festival.”

Five colleges will be participating in the festival. And to inspire them into a theatre movement, the organisers will be providing some technical support as well as a small subsidy for designing costumes. “In places like Maharashtra, College festivals are very important because it provides input to the Commercial Cinema. In Delhi, we have a very strong theatre movement and if we raise the standard at college level, it will help amateur theatre,” says Allana.

Though the inspiration is Ibsen’s work, students have experimented with their own ideas too. Kamala Nehru College (KNC) will show a play called Frihet. "What we are attempting is not a single play. Characters have been picked up from different Ibsen’s plays and those montages have been combined into one play,” says Nupur Saha of KNC. Some of the characters that have been picked up in this play are Nora from A Doll’s House, Ellida from The Lady from the Sea, Irene from When We Dead Awaken, amongst others.”

“Our play is inspired by three plays of Ibsen — A Doll’s House, Ghost and Hedda Gabler. It took us a month to prepare this play. We got the costumes stitched and shopped for coats and overcoats in GK and Sarojini Nagar,” says Nooryab Nakhat of Lady Shri Ram College who has written the play, The Mannequins in Elysium along with her friend Devika Menon for this festival.

And the cocktail-theme seems to hot this season. “Our play is a combination of different plays of Ibsen. What is interesting that we have Indianised them and one of the characters in the play is Ibsen himself,” says Sukriti Khurana, Maitreyi College.

Dates: September 22 to September 26
Tele booking: 09910627849
Venue: Little Theatre Group Auditorium, Copernicus Marg