Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Passport to Thebes

"Welcome to Thebes" was one of the most unusual play I have seen at the National School of Drama in New Delhi.

Directed by Annie Ruth and presented by the final year students of NSD (16-21 March),  it was an adaptation of a 2010 play by Moira Buffini. Apart from a ticket, you  needed a 'passport' to get into the theatre. The play itself an energetic mix of Greek mythology and contemporary politics, presented by actors dressed in African costumes, with their lines forcefully delivered in Hinglish, Tamil and Mizoram's Aso dialect!

The play revolves around the death of a Thebian warlord named Polynices. In the ensuing power vacuum, two neighboring states are vying to control Thebes: Athens and Sparta.

It was interesting to know that, as in the Indian classics, names of key character's have a meaning that is closely reflects their true nature. Polynices means "manifold strife". What about the names of the other characters?

Megaera (played by D. Antony Janagi):  'The jealous one'
Sergeant Miletus (N.P. Chouhan): Named after the Milax shrubs where he was hidden after birth
Eurydice (Kalyanee Mulay): 'She whose justice extends widely'
Prince Tydeus (Debasis Mondal):
Pargeia (Bharti):
Haemon (Mrigendra Konwar): 'Bloody'
Antigone (Arundhati Kalita):
Ismene (Amanjeet):
Tiresias (brilliantly played by Bendang Temsu Walling):
Harmonia (Prashant Kumar):
Polykleitos (Prateek Srivastava):
Aglaea (Raju Roy): 'Splendor, brilliant, shining-one'
Thalia (V. Uto Chishi): 'Abundance'
Euphrosyne (Hardik Shah): One of the three Graces
Eunomia (Janagi): 'Good order - governance according to good laws'
Helia (Thoudam Victor Singh): 'Children of the sun'
Eris (PrashantKumar): 'Strife'!
Xenophanes (Himanshu Kohli):
Thesus (Sanal N):
Phaeax (Victor):

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