Indian Tiger Goes to Turkey

The play opens with a man busy painting a tiger on canvas.

Written by Garima Mishra | Published: May 12, 2012 1:50 am

The play opens with a man busy painting a tiger on canvas. This portrayal,along with the background score,is enough to arrest the attention of the audience. This is followed by a shot where a reporter enquires from a group of tribal people if they have seen a tiger in their village,as it was apparently the last tiger left on the earth.

Incidentally,in the 70-min-long Marathi play,The Last Colour,this five-minute sequence is the only one where actors are actually on the stage. The rest of the play is a combination of music,dance and visual art. Here onwards,“the soul of the last tiger” shares his journey in this world with the audience.

The week-long Ordu International Theatre Festival is organised by Turkish Theatre Opera and Ballet Members Foundation (TOBOV),with an aim to promote theatre,opera and ballet through workshops,festivals and seminars. The fest will be held from June 4 to 10 at Ordu,Turkey. Altogether,15 theatre groups from across the world will perform at this theatre fest. The Last Colour is the only Indian entry.

“Although the subject is extremely relevant,I have consciously abstained from being preachy. The play is moving but the treatment is subtle ,” says 27-year-old Shrikant Bhide,who has written,directed,choreographed and handled the set design of the play. It will be presented by Dhyaas — his amateur theatre group. The Last Colour is their second play after Pinjara. Till date,the play has had 11 shows in Pune,Ahmedabad and across West Bengal.

Thrilled about the group’s maiden performance overseas,Bhide says that despite being a Marathi play,The Last Colour has managed to find a global audience because of its strong visual and non-verbal appeal. “InTurkey,we plan to include English sub-titles. Also,looking at the response the play is gathering,we may have its Hindi and English versions as well in future,” he adds.

Various sequences in the play depict different realities associated with tigers. For instance,one of the scenes is about tiger-poaching,and the black-market sale of tiger skin and its other body parts. The lead role (of the tiger’s soul) is played by Shrinivas Joshi. “It’s like a silent movie. Since I have no dialogues,the play required me to act on the lines of the narration,” explains the actor.

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