Gudiya Azad’, a poignant comment on the systemic exploitation of women enacted by an all-women cast which got a standing ovation from the audience, was staged on day-8 of the Annual Theatre Festival at the Abhinav Theatre, yesterday evening.
Written and directed by Roheet Verma, today’s play, labeled as so far the best in terms of creative treatment of the content complimented with equally imaginative design and aesthetic knitting, was staged under the banner of Naqaib Rangmanch.
The play in Hindustani was presented as a collage of six iconic situations narrated by the Sutradhar, who is a journalist.
Beginning from the mythological character of Gandhari blind-folding herself, the life-long agony of a rape victim, the post-marriage relocation and yanking from roots, life of a prostitute, becoming a soldier’s widow, and old mother being abandoned (in an old age home) by a son-all these situations to which a women are forced to live because of socio-cultural value system-were artistically presented on the stage.
The high watermark of today’s performance was the unfolding of the ‘tragic’ which unfurled itself as intense poetic revelation though highly pictorial movements of the chorus, freeze frames, colorful costumes, and above all the live background music and songs interspersed with soulful ‘alaps’ by Roheet Verma and Samdish Kumar.
The all-women cast which carried the entire play as a well-orchestrated symphony of movements, groupings, handling of props, included Renu Sharma, Aishwarya Sathe, Anjali, Sahiba Bashir, Aashima Dutta, Hempreet Kaur, and Sameena Kousar.
Lights were by Suraj Ganjoo, set Sandeep Thakur, sound by Lokesh, costumes by Suneedhi Sharma, makeup by Bimla Naqaib.
Kashmiri play ‘Samanbal’, written and directed by veteran theatrist Makhan Lal Saraf will be presented by Bhoorang Foundation today.