Comrade Kumbhakaran - A Wonderful play during Summer Theatre Festival 2011 at National School of Drama Delhi : PART-2

Here are few more photographs from Comrade Kumbhakarana play during Summer Theatre Festival 2011 @ National School of Drama

Comrade Kumbhakarana is directed by Mr Mohit Takalkar !

Director's Note :- "The true picture of the past flits by," writes philosopher Walter Benjamin. In Ramu's writing, we are presented with a past which becomes briefly recognizable in the present. In Comrade Kumbhakarana, Ramu throws into his cauldron of storytelling a severe distrust of authority, the protagonist accused of sedition, a wild journey through treacherous landscapes, a generous helping of wry humor, an examination of of the battle between good/bad, god/demon and of course, an oblique look at the political scenario of this country. More than anything, for m it is a story of survival, extreme poverty and people. Even then, with all its rampant , chaotic, deliciously uncontrolled and unresolved illusion, it is my attempt to let you, as the audience, engage the intellect rather than emotions by giving you that one distancing level between you and the story. To Deny catharsis. To Highlight the vitality, the vulgarity, the linguistic violence and the genuinely exalted beauty of Ramu's writing. 

The play is very like Kumbhakarana himself, half god-half demon, one foot in the heaven and other is stews, frustrating , engaging , constantly sleeping, secretly passionate and endlessly fascinating. If you come away from Comrade with nothing more than the sense that it was maddening and intriguing in equal parts, not sure whether you loved it or hated it, you will probably have come as close to "getting in" as anyone ever will. If you feel confused watching... may be you should be. not all the questions are answered for us ever! Commit to the story and you will realize that though it is set in time far away., it is still so close to now. Welcome to the new kind of folklore. I hope you enjoy COMRADE KUMBHAKARANA.... Here ends the Director's Note.

Mr. Mohit Takalkar, this Hotel Management graduate had his first exposure to theatre at the Progressive Association (PDA) before setting up his own theatre group, Aaskta Kalamancha in Pune. Mohit has worked in theatre in varied capacities for the past decade but mainly, he has worked as a director. He has to his credit more than 25 plays in Marathi, English, and Hindi that have been showcased at various national and international theatre festivals. he completed his postgraduation in Theatre practices from the University of Exeter as a charles Wallance Scholar. he is a distinguished film editor and has edited more than 10 feature films along with numerous documentaries, short films and television episodes. He has scripted two plays in English and also loves Photography, travel and painting.

A small theatre group (headed by a rural diva) in the middle of nowwhere performs unimportant plays which are based on the Ramayana. These plays don't singal artistic achievement, nor do they constitute a movement. 

The group has accepted our musical and our glorius past (now present) simply because the past refuses to go away. The rural diva is an expert in the oral tradition of the Ramayana. The young actor (the rural diva's son) plays Kumbhakarana - and grows up in such a milieu. 

To skew things, his grandfather and father are part of the Self Respect Movement. He is unable to draw a distinction between the real achievements of ratonal movement and what he sees as the excesses of a cultural fraud. He follow his rationalist dreams because all around he sees the relics of a descedent culture which reeks of affectation and phoniness, plus the leisure-dreams of upper caste, upper class society. 

In the mean time, due to his ancestral past in Self Respect Movement, he has a special interpretation of his role as Kumbhakarana. This role means to him -

1. A Reason to live
2. Counter-Culture 

The young actor deals with  both, but his main polemical interest is in the second. He aims to cut the icons of Ramayana down to size. Much of his approach is straightforward. he chronicles what its heros, leaders, groups and movements actually said, did and achieved, as opposed to what "official" observers believed they did.

The young actor who specializes in performing Kumabhakarana is arrested. An interrogation begins. The lines between real and unreal start of blur. 

Cast of "Comrade Kumbhakarana" includes :

Mr. Naveen singh Thakur as Kumbhakarana
Mr. Ajit Singh Palawat  also played the role of Kumbhakarana

Twin Sisters - Rakhi Kumari, Anamika, Tina Bhatiya, Sunanya Shukla
Amma - Ajida

Appa - Punj Prakash
Man with Black Shirt - Sukumar Tudu
Inspector - Sukumar Tudu
Daku - Sukumar Tudu
Man with wine bottle - Sukumar Tudu

Troupe - Sapna Khatana, Kanhiya Lal Kaithwas, Jaggannath Seth, Masnam Joy Meetei, Emmanuel Singh, Ambrish Saxena

Manager - Sukumar Tudu
Men with Manager - Pramod Kumar, Sunil Upadhyay

Atar Singh - Dwarika Dahiya
Ramashankar Tripathi - Anoop Trivedi
Madan X - Iqshita ChakrabortyDrunkards/Police - Sukumar Tudu, Pramod Kumar, Manish Kumar, Sunil Upadhyay

Typist - Moti Lal KhareLepers - Pramod Kumar, Manish Kumar, Ambrish Saxena, Sunil Upadhyay, Palash Protim Mac, Punj Prakash, Sukumar Tudu.
A Lovely play to watch and wonderful Actors !!!

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 Comrade Kumbhakaran - A Wonderful play during Summer Theatre Festival 2011 at National School of Drama Delhi

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