All’s well that ends well. For Indian People Theatre Association (IPTA), this phrase is the title of its new play,
Aaall Izz Well With Shuturmurg
Why the title? Director of the play, Ramesh Talwar explains, “Of course it is taken from the film
. Earlier people used to say
sab thik hai
, now they say it in English… ‘All is well’. Times have changed. The phrase is used as a satire here.”
A comedy satire,
(Hindi for ‘ostrich’) was originally written and performed in 1968 by Gyandev Agnihotri. The play had raised protests due to its political leaning and its performances were stopped in Delhi.
“In 1968, when the play was written, it highlighted India as an independent nation, but its poor were still poor and the rich, richer. This play is a comment on how the condition prevails,” explains director of the play Ramesh Talwar.
The play is set in a palace, with a king, queen, ministers and a common man. Symbolic of the contemporary times, the comment and message that the play tries to put across remains the same.
The concept of the play is inspired from a characteristic of the bird ostrich. “When the ostrich makes a mistake, it hides its beak and eyes in the mud, thinking that no one has noticed it. In the similar manner, our politicians and leaders think that the public is not aware of anything. It focuses on them,” says Talwar.
“A common man… who is he… what is his existence?
is an attempt to answer these questions and laugh at our own tragedies,” says the veteran director.
Talwar plans to travel with the play to Dubai and Muscat as well. “We’ll go to places where theatre is invited,” says Talwar.
The play will be enacted by Rakesh Bedi, Aasif Sheikh, Rashmi Sharma, Jaspaul Sandhu and Bharat Kapoor on stage, with music by Kuldip Singh and design by MS Sathyu.