Bhopal: The students of MP School of Drama (MPSD) will stage ‘Talgahr,’ Hindi adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s ‘The Lower Depths,’ first time in the state. Before staging the play at Bharat Bhawan on January 30 and 31, the students ran through the play at the MPSD on Sunday.
The play is directed by eminent theatre actor and director Alok Chatterjee. Chatterjee told Free Press that the play is very close to his heart because he acted in the play when he was third year student of National School of Drama in 1987 under the direction of Ram Gopal Bajaj. He played the role of Satine.
He further said, “It is all time best play which put Gorky on a par with Henrik Ibsen, Strindberg and Anton Chekhov. It is the first realistic play in the world the characters of which belong to lower class including tailor, prostitute, gambler etc. The play depicts the pre First World War political and economical scenario of Russia. It also deals with truth of life.”
“The four act play is still relevant in present time. Everybody is now talking about himself/herself and not listening what the others are saying. In today’s life we use the language like that. We use the language for offence and defense. We really don’t know communicate and talk to each other. The basic purpose of the language is to communicate. In this play also everyone is telling his /her story. Nobody is connected. ” said Chatterjee.
He said that betterment of self is Gorky’s philosophy and due to this he had to face the protest of communist and he had been exiled and had to live in Italy for 13 years. “Gorky was murdered by communist later. But now communists say that Gorky was a communist” he said. “It is research-based play and we have been preparing since January 3.
We have also used costumes, music and props which reflect the Russian era. It is hard core realistic play so some of the actors didn’t shave their beard for a month. Even one of the actors has got his head tonsured,” Chatterjee said. He also said that to direct the play is really very challenging for me because all the actors in the play are young. It is very difficult to understand the philosophy of life in the age.