As society progresses, there are enough examples of men and women overcoming the barriers of age to be in a relationship. Some of the prominent ones are Demi Moore who married 15-year younger actor Ashton Kutcher, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon (with a 10-year age gap) or Madonna, who has two kids with ex-husband Guy Ritchie, 10 year younger than her. Closer home, Abhishek Bachchan is married to Aishwarya Rai, who is a year elder to him, while actor Saif Ali Khan was married to Amrita Singh (12 years elder to him) for 12 years.
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But back in the Victorian times, the concept of falling in love with an older woman was still a taboo. An upcoming play titled Candida, by the famous Irish writer of 30s, George Bernard Shaw, brings to the stage this dilemma caused in relationships because of an age difference. “The play shows the relationship between an older woman and a man who is ten years younger,” says Vishesh Arora, founder, Curtain Call productions.
Started two years ago, this is the first professional play by the production house. “I am an avid reader of George Bernard Shaw for his honest and radical writings on education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. I wanted to start with Candida as it brings out the challenges that our society is struggling with in relationships,” says Arora.
The play revolves around lady Candida, married to an honourable clergyman, James Morell and an 18-year-old poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to charm her with his romantic notions of life. “In the midst of all the action, the play tries to explore the deeper question of what does a woman really want from a relationship — materialistic comfort, honour, children, or romance and understanding,” says Sarthak Mattoo, 21, who plays Morell, Candida’s husband.
One of the highlights of the play is a scene when Marchbanks the poet confronts Morell with the fact that he loves his wife. “Marchbanks has the honesty and rebellion of any youngster today,” says Shivam Khanna, 19, who plays the poet. “If women have been one of your mysteries of the world, we plan to de-mystify this world a little bit for the men of today through this play,” sums up Nihal Parashar, an actor in the play.
What: Candida, by GB Shaw
When: July 28
Where: Alliance Francaise de Delhi, Lodhi Road
NEAREST METRO STATION: Jor Bagh on the Yellow Line