If you love theatre, you might consider camping at Prithvi Theatre this week. The lineup looks more than promising, with a number of productions by Hindi theatre veterans, Salim Arif, Gulzar and Javed Siddiqui.On April 16, Salim Arif’s acclaimed Manto Mantra, dedicated to the works of legendary author Saadat Hasan Manto, will be presented. The piece is one of the few that shows Manto as a character on stage, recounting some of his works and early life.
"Manto remains one of the most sensitive and intense voices of our nation. This year happens to be his birth anniversary, and so we have chosen his writings about himself and juxtaposed them with snippets from his short stories. Manto is the sutradhar who takes the audience on a journey through his concerns and often-controversial works," says Arif, director and writer of the play.
Meanwhile, on April 17, Arre O Henry, Gulzar’s rendition of four short stories by O Henry, will follow. The evening will see The Exact Science of Matrimony as Shadi Kara Lo, The Love Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein as Nuskha, While The Auto Waits as Madam, and The Barber Talks as Baal Baal Bache. Besides, Gulzaar’s most recent production, Paansa, a dramatisation of Pavan K Varma’s Yudhishtar and Draupadi, will also be staged on April 18. “It was a difficult process to adapt Pavan’s poem for the stage. The play personifies thought itself. What the audience hears are silent thoughts of the two, through which they seem to communicate,” says Gulzar.
Finally, on April 19, Javed Siddiqui’s Hum Safar , a bittersweet tale will take audiences through issues regarding marriage, divorce and missed opportunities in life.