A theatrical adaptation of popular Marathi book Shyamchi Aai [Shyam's Mother] was staged for the first time in English on Saturday. The performance took place at the Kashinath Ghanekar auditorium in Thane.
The English adaptation of the Marathi classic, which has been staged as a Marathi play too, is aimed at reaching out to a non-Marathi audience. "We felt that the universal appeal of this book should not be restricted by language. Also, many school-going Marathi-speaking children do not read Marathi books or watch Marathi plays anymore," said Rahul Manohar, who translated the Marathi adaptation written by Pradip Bodke into English. Manohar is also the producer of the play.
Shyamchi Aai, written by Sane Guruji and first published in 1935, is the story of unconditional love of Shyam's mother, Yashoda, who endured several hardships to give him a good upbringing. Produced by Shabda Creations, a Nashik-based theatre group, the Marathi version of the play has completed more than 500 shows in Maharashtra in the past five years.
"Initially, we found it tedious to emote but then we simplified the language. The director also maintained the setting of rural Konkan," said Vasantika Valke, 20, who played Shyam's mother in English and Marathi versions.
Manohar said that they plan to stage the English play in Mumbai next month.