Sunday 5 March 2023

"Baanswaada Company" staged at Versova (Mumbai) on 4.4.2023

 Shades of thespian struggle
(Drama review)

हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 12 देखिए 

You need to be mad to win your fad. Theatre is an obsession and can hardly be called a profession. There are innumerable thorny crosses you need to negotiate before you establish yourself on theatrical stage. And even after you become a well-known actor, the struggles continue. The play "Baaswaada Comapany" gives a nonchalant view of what and how about the life of drama artists. The instance shown is of a drama team working in a far-flung area of Rajasthan and the director who is also the author of the play has successfully preserved the sanctity of regional language and accent. 

The script does not proceed with hardbound storyline and allows the director to show different instances of internal happenings in a drama team. These unstructured events covers perhaps a span of a number of years. 

There is an excellent senior artist in the team but on even smallest unagreeable statement by other, he leaves the precincts. He is unmarried at 43 of age and a tippler. Her mother is concerned how shall she arrange food after two days but this artist is only concerned about his drama. There is a sponsor man who only thinks about his money-back and so he stresses on keeping original female artists. During the show of Ramleela the artist given the role of 'deer' puts up the mask of 'horse' and spoils the scene. Ram asks him to go and bring his friend 'deer' so that he can kill him with his arch as wished by Sita. On this the director somehow convinces Ram to get satisfied with killing a horse only as it is he who is available at this time. After Ramleela, the entry of an attractive foreigner female artist the internal optics of the team is on topsy-turvy. Though she raises the charm and value of the team manifold but ultimately cheats the sponsor and flees away.

And many a fact emerge from that. Some of them are - 1.The master of a drama company has always to tread on a tight rope dealing along with all his senior-junior artists also the sponsors of the shows, 2. The most talented and devoted actor is also the moodiest one, 3. The social dynamic has a direct reflection on the drama team viz. caste and religious conflicts, 4. The drama company generally believes in many kinds of superstitions, 5. The talented female artists are also vital for the success of the show. Without them your show is incomplete, 6. Some member may ditch the company at certain point of time. But the last and most important takeaway is the art of drama costs an artist his whole of life. He gives all he has to his muse but gets nothing more than an internal satisfaction. And that is why a drama artist must be respected in the society. The dramas that are shown are not only pieces of entertainment but are very condense media of thought transmission, the main plinth of the progress of human society.  

The play is made up of the scenes of the rehearsals and shows of two different poles of dramatic art - One is Ramleela and other is Shakespeare's Othelo. Comedy emerged from the dereliction and mis-performance by the artists which were somehow stringed together instantaneously in a conducive manner. These scenes were deliberate and parts of the script.

Artists who acted well were Amrit Arora, Jaswinder Singh, Prakash Parida, Akash Bhanushali, Aditi Charak, Akshat Jain, Anuj Khurana, Varun Pawar, Elakshi Moray Gupta, Mohan Sagar, Nikhil Modi, Sachin Bhatt, Ranjana Sharma, Himanshu Aneja, Ishan Pehal. Director Niresh Kumar who is also an author is from NSD has shown his mettle in converting the common life happenings of drama artists in a presentable play. This was their maiden show.

One thing I have to say is that the play has declared duration of 1 hour 10 minutes but it ran for more that 2 hours, I think.

The main motive of the play was perhaps to make it a comedy but it turns out to be a balanced mix of comedy and thought-provocation. A good play worthy to watch.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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