Rangasampada a Kannada theatre troupe that turned 50 recently, is back with its new theatre production Lokada Olahorage directed by eminent theatre and cinema personality B. Suresha.
The play is theatrically adapted to Kannada by Suresha from Rabindranath Tagore’s novel Ghare Baire (The Home and the World). Lokada Olahorage takes up discussion on the questions Tagore himself had about Western culture and the revolts against it in the early 1910s. As a symbol of both these thoughts, the two main characters of this play, Siddhartha as an admirer of Western thought, and Indrajit, as an opponent of that culture, the ups and downs of an innocent girl named Sharade, who is caught between them, is the core of this play. The conflicts of these two thoughts that enter into the family, where everything seemed to be romantic, are revealed through the play, and how they break up not only that family but also the surrounding society becomes the core issue. This play tries to convey that only inclusive minds can build a healthy society.
Speaking to The Hindu, Suresha said the play is relevant to this age though it was written a hundred years ago, “The novel was written by Tagore somewhere between 1913 to 1916, it was serialised in a monthly magazine and later published as a novel in 1923. We have adapted and produced the same play in 2023, a century after it was written, but it still stands relevant. Since I do not read or understand Bengali, I adapted the play from the English version, The Home and the World, a translation which was approved by Tagore himself.”
“In 1905, Bengal was split into East and West, which saw a huge revolution. The Swadeshi movement was supported by Tagore too. But as the movement grew, by the year 1930, it started dividing people into groups targeting minority communities, just like the political scenario we have now, in 2023. Whatever the novel is trying to speak about is relevant in today’s community. In the name of patriotism, any form of violence is seen as appropriate, which all of us are witnessing every day. The novel must be read and communicated to the people of India. Unless we hold hands with each other society will never be completed, and that is the idea behind this play,” Suresha added.
The play uses Rabindra Sangeet, which Suresha says is a great asset to our country. “We have used lots of musical interludes inspired by Rabindra Sangeet and Tagore’s poems wherever possible in the play. The songs and poems start off in Bengali and continues in Kannada.”
Donning the cap of a director after four long years, Suresha says that this play will bring out a bunch of wonderful actors who can contribute to the future of Kannada theatre. “Though I wrote a couple of plays in these years, I did not find time to direct a play for a theatre troupe. When I started writing Lokada Olahorage, the storyline lasted for four hours because there was so much for me to share with the world about Tagore’s writing. But we have now brought it down to less than two hours. Through this play more actors are created than just performers, it is more of an actors’ theatre than stylised theatre. Of late there are too many theatre performances that are stylised, which I believe will not help somebody become an actor. This play tries to create good performers who can become great actors for Kannada theatre.”
The troupe will be performing at Ranga Shankara, J.P. Nagar, on September 19, at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ranga Shankara box-office and on BookMyShow.