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Othello in Kathakali will be staged on 15 February.
Othello in Kathakali will be staged on 15 February.

Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins on Sunday

The 17th edition of the theatre festival will have 82 plays in 23 languages from 12 countries

Presented by one of India’s leading theatre institutes, the National School of Drama (NSD), this year’s edition of the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, which starts in the Capital on 1 February, will showcase 82 plays from India and around the world.

NSD director Waman Kendre says: “Conceptualized with the theme of ‘Breaking Borders’, the festival aims to blur borders of all kinds—not just between nations, but also between modern and traditional theatre, and between city and rural theatre."

The line-up in the coming fortnight includes an adaptation of Ismat Chughtai’s stories by Naseeruddin Shah in Kambakhath Bilkul Aurat; Othello in Kathakali; and six plays, including Chitrangada, from the North-East. Twelve foreign plays are part of the programme: These include the UK’s Monamas Theatre Company’s Agamemnon, and C Sharp C Blunt by Flinntheater, Germany. Directed by Sophia Stepf, C Sharp C Blunt is a pun on mobile apps with female personas.

Two plays from Israel have also been shortlisted: Gaffe Theatre will stage Postal Delivery To God, a play in Hebrew about two religious girls and their search for God, and Clipa Theatre will present With Unarmed Forces, a non-verbal, tragi-comic physical theatre piece about an unhappy couple and a world engulfed in a war.

The last three days of the festival (16-18 February) will see theatre luminaries interacting with the audience at a “World Theatre Forum" at the NSD. These seminars, open to all, aim to create a common platform for sharing and learning more about theatre.

Simultaneously, the festival will also travel to four cities—Agartala (Tripura), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Panaji (Goa)—from 4-15 February, with five plays being staged in each city.

The festival will conclude with Aadirangam, a mélange of tribal dance, music and theatre performances by 130 artistes from states like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. “Our vision is to create a dialogue between different forms of performing arts on one stage," says Kendre.

The Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2015 will be held from 1-18 February in New Delhi. Timings and venues vary. Tickets, 50, 100 and 200, available at the venues. For the schedule, visit The World Theatre Forum will be held from 16-18 February, 11am-4pm, at NSD, 1, Bhagwan Das Road (23384531).

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