Playwright: Albert Camus
Director: Parvez Akhtar
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins
An underground revolutionary group plans to murder a British Collector in colonial India. Tej Pratap, a fugitive living in Canada, comes and joins the group. Shekhar, popularly called Mastana in the group, on seeing children riding in the British collector’s carriage, does not throw the bomb as planned on the ascertained day. There is heated argument in the group because of this. Damyanti, a senior member of the group, is in love with Shekhar. The group leader Baldev plans to throw the bomb two days later. Shekhar is arrested after the death of the Collector. A vigilance officer tries to buy-off Shekhar in the prison. British collector’s wife and Pandit Trivedi visit Shekhar in the prison so that he repents. Shekhar is hanged to death. On the day of the hanging Damyanti, deeply grieved, decides to throw the next bomb and suffer a similar fate.
This is the second Albert Camus play directed by me after Caligula. On the outset it seems like a wordy, ordinary and realistic play. But the clash of thoughts in the play creates such a dramatic duality that it becomes not only special but probably the best work by Camus. In the order of the struggle for justice, denial of what is auspicious, beautiful and delicate is logically opposed; thus making its extremely relevant. The play begins with ordinary characters and their conversation, gradually moving to the struggle of thoughts which is depicted with a simple set and light design to create and appropriate ground and atmosphere for the actors. The effort of this presentation is to express the sublime emotion with realistic performance instead of melodrama.
Parvez Akhtar is an eminent theatre designer and director. He was born in Gorakhpur in 1954. After beginning a formal theatre life in 1975, he worked for IPTA for twenty years. Then he established Natmandap and was also associated as a theatre director to many institutes like Anaagat, Prerna and Prachi. He has done plays of varied style and forms and proverbial plays. He has travelled with theatre all over the country along with participating in important festivals, workshops and seminars organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, NSD and regional cultural centres. Some important plays directed by him are Guinea Pig, Hanoosh, Mahabhoj, Madhavi, Satya Harischandra, Ant Nahi, Muktiparv and many more.
Albert Camus was a great thinker and writer of the twentieth century. He was born in Algeria in 1913. He joined the Communist Party of France in 1935. He was ousted from the party for his revolutionary thoughts. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957. He had immense interest in football and theatre. He grew up under the influence of First World War and witnessed the Second. One finds an unprecedented depiction of human trials and turbulence, atheism, death, and Greek philosophy in his work. He died in a car accident in 1960. Some of his noted works are The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Rebel, Caligula, The Plague, The Just Assassins etc.
Dr Sharad Chandra is a famous writer, poetess and translator. She has translated a number of Camus’s works directly from French to Hindi, and has written books on the life and thoughts of Camus. She writes in English, Hindi and French. She holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature and has travelled worldwide. She was awarded as the best translator by the Bhartiya Anuvaad Parishad, New Delhi and Academie Francaise, Paris.
Although Natmandap was formally established in 2001, it has been active for the past twenty years as a small creative group with excellent actors and theatre practitioners. The recent activities of Natmandap include the musical presentation Ram ki Shakti Puja, Narmedh, a collection of Bhishm Sahani’s stories, Dario Fo’s Akeli Aurat and Savera; and the experimental ‘open terrace theatre’.
Cast & Credits
Actors: Ajit Kumar, Mona Jha, Javed Akhtar Khan, Sujeet Kumar, Ravi Mahadevan,
Umakant Jha, Vinod Kumar, Nivedita, Ravi Kumar
Backstage: Vijendra Tonk, Neeraj, Sonal Narayan
Playwright Albert Camus
Direction Parvez Akhtar
302, City Enclave,
12-D Gali, Anand Puri,
Patna – 800 001