Ever imagined that one of your all-time favourite characters, and arguably the greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes, will come alive on radio and conduct an investigation on air? The Pune station of All India Radio (AIR), popularly known as Akashvani, is gearing up to air an unique play — The Case Of Mistaken Identity — on a brief encounter between Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The show, which will be aired on Wednesday at 8.15 pm on 792khz medium wave, is part of Kaleidoscope, a new strategy adopted by AIR-Pune, in an effort to engage its young listeners and introduce them to the world of classics through audio programmes.
In the play, written by Gaurav Sawant, the characters of Doyle and Holmes will be enacted by theatre artists Omkar Gokhale and Shubhankar Ekbote, respectively. It is one of the several classics being adopted, in an innovative manner, by AIR-Pune, which has planned a slew of English programmes, solely based on classics, novels, poetry and popular plays.
On the work that goes into adopting these classics, Gaurav Shimpi, one of the developers of the programme, said, “The biggest challenge… is selecting an interesting story line within these classics, tweaking it for a radio audience and presenting the audio form, all within a limited broadcast time”.
Asked whether it was difficult to get artistes — who are used to stage setups — to perform for radio, Shimpi said, “Sourcing for talent in and around Pune is never difficult, as the city is filled with young and bustling artistes from different fields.”
The team is also developing programmes based on the works of William Shakespeare.
Interestingly, another programme that Akashvani is hoping to add to its list is one where Marathi books, especially classics and novels that are unavailable in Braille, are read out for the listeners. “For the visually challenged, radio is one of the main sources of information, and we will soon be seeking suggestions about books and classic novels, which will be read out for visually impaired listeners,” said Gopal Autee, deputy director (programme) at AIR, Pune.
AIR-Pune is in talks with various schools for the blind, as well as NGOs working in this area, to garner the maximum number of suggestions, added Autee.
Team Kaleidoscope is currently busy on another interesting project, a documentary on the monsoon, and the many beautiful sounds associated with it.
“A one-of-a kind, 10-minute documentary titled ‘Sounds of Monsoon’ is being developed, which will be an amalgamation of all kinds of sounds heard during the monsoon. It is aimed at offering listeners a refreshing experience of reliving the rains. The recording is still on, but it has been a great learning experience so far,” said Shimpi.