Tumhari Amrita will never be the same again, for Farooq Sheikh is no more. With Shabana Azmi opposite him, Sheikh had brought alive the story of two people who were destined to meet but never be together. The two characters sit on stage — their tables and chairs being the only props — and read from letters they have written to each other since they were young children. Against the minimal action, lighting, music and sets, the play becomes the expression of its script. This week, Delhi audiences will get to experience the original text of Tumhari Amrita as Love Letters by American playwright A R Gurney is presented on stage. The two roles will be played by George Sibley, Minister-Counselor for Economic, Environment, Science and Technology Affairs at the US embassy, and actor Lee-Alison Sibley (in the picture), his wife.
“We have left the script “as is” — there is no need to adapt it to modern times and concerns — it isn’t primarily about social problems, it is about relationships and the joys and tragedies that can be experienced in the course of a friendships that last through several decades,” says Lee-Alison. She plays Melissa Gardner who meets Andrew Makepeace Ladd III as a child. As their lives converge and diverge — she becomes an artist with a wild head and heart, and he grows up more conventionally to enter the US senate — they continue to pour their hearts out in letters. “The two see each other quite a bit through the years of the relationship, especially while they are growing up and they react to their visits though letters. The important element of the play is that they seem to need each other because they are different and fulfill in each other what the other one is lacking. Together they find balance,” she adds.
Lee-Alison has several degrees in performance and has acted and sung on stage across the world. George trained with the National Shakespeare Conservatory before his foreign service career took over. Together, they have entertained audiences in Indonesia, Nepal, Madagascar and India. “There is a certain chemistry between a husband and wife that is indeed special and we hope it will shine through in Love Letters,” adds Lee-Alison.
Love Letters will be performed at the American Center on May 28. Contact: 23472000