Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The corona pandemic has shattered many dreams. Yet, man continues to dream. This is what makes him survive.
That turned out to be true when the students of MP School of Drama staged the Hindi adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream at Ravindra Bhawan on Wednesday. Though to dream, one has to be in sleep, in the play most of the characters are awake.
The bard of Avon asks: “Are you sure? That we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream.” Ergo, the bard teaches men to dream. So do the students of batch-2021-22 of the academy. It was their last production as students.
The play chimes with the present world scenario. On the one hand, hangs fear of the coronavirus. On the other hand, hover over the world the shadows of war. The director Satyabrata Rout aptly fashioned the comedy that suits the present situation.
The comic scenes – especially the one in which donkey-shaped piñata dangles above the stage – on the stage. Shraddha Shalini Malviya assisted the director. As the fairies moved on the stage, the audience was in a dreamland. The play also justified the departure of the spring and the advent of summer.
The play set in a forest in Athens consists of several subplots that revolve around the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. One subplot involves a conflict among four Athenian lovers. Another follows a group of six amateur actors rehearsing the play which they are to perform before the wedding.
Both groups find themselves in a forest inhabited by fairies. They manipulate the humans and are engaged in their own domestic intrigue.
The play consists of five interconnecting plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta. The music, the sets, the lights and the costumes took the audience back to the Shakespearean era.
The audience clapped to a song ‘O my lord Theseus, hai char din ki chandini…’ The actors delivered dialogues in poetry format. The moon flashed on the stage. The woodland turned out to be dreamy. The curtain dropped. Still, the audience remained glued to their seats. Life goes on. So are dreams. So sings the bard.
‘Confluence of poetry and music’
I learnt the etiquettes of theatre from Bharat Bhavan. I was basically a painter but got involved with music through B V Karanth Sahib. So I have tried to find music in painting through theatre. For me, this play is a confluence of poetry and music. My attempt was to create an atmosphere of the Shakespearean era.
Satyabrata Rout, Head of Theatre Department, Hyderabad University
It was a great experience to work with Satyabrata Rout sir. I got the opportunity to assist in a western drama under him for the first time. Earlier, I worked with him in an Indian play ‘Shakuntala’ when I was studying in Hyderabad University.
Shraddha Shalini Malviya, Assistant Director, Bhopal