Theatre of the absurd

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2014 - 7:07pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Trishla Patel brings Nobel Prize winning Italian author’s work to India.

Whatever is a reality today is going to be, like the reality of yesterday, an illusion tomorrow.

Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search Of An Author is a play within a play which chronicles six characters as they seek an author to tell their story, and to present their real lives on stage. But is reality better than fiction or vise versa? Trishla Patel tries to answer this in her adaptation of the work by the Nobel Prize winning author Pirandello. “People have done a lot of Shakespeare here, I don’t know how and why Pirandello was ignored,” rues Trishla adding hopefully that, “Like Shaw and Carmen, maybe other authors too will find place on Indian stage now,”

The plot
In Six Characters In Search Of An Author (Italian: Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore), a director is rehearsing for a play with his actors and is rudely interrupted by six strangers. They claim to be looking for an author. The director and the six characters get enmeshed in an argument which seamlessly flows into a play which starts to get enacted in front of the troupe of the actors. This play within a play is a tragic drama full of heightened emotions.

Book of thoughts
“It is a story of unrealised characters,” she explains. These characters came to her two years ago when someone gifted her a book by Pirandello. “I was mesmerised by it, I decided that I had to do something on it,” and she did. With the play, which was first performed in 1921, being premiered this week Trishla wants to salute her mentors. “This is an ode to my masters, Makrand Deshpande and Satyadev Dubey,” she says. Renowned actor Benjamin Gilani plays one of the characters in the play.     

Not old enough
Trishla argues that though the work is pretty old, the thought can never go out of fashion. “It is relevant even today since it plays with the topics of incest, class difference, prostitution, failed marriages and innocence lost,” she says. The highlight of the play is the writing itself which leaves you with different interpretations each time you listen to it.

When & Where: February 21, at Godrej Theatre NCPA from 7 pm onwards


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