Some wounds never heal
Scars are forever. The play Traitors,staged at the UP Sangeet Natak Akademi on Wednesday evening,effectively traced the tough path to freedom from a hate-scarred past.
Set against the backdrop of 1857,the play is divided into two time zones.
While in flashbacks,characters live out events during the First War of Independence,in the present,they come together for a new beginning…which is not easy because of a barbaric past.
Though derived from a true story,presenters wish audience see the play as fiction,a story that takes birth in Kanpur. Here,one General Wheelers daughter,Stella and a native soldier,Ali,lived together as a family for over 15-18 years after 1857.
The drama element comes to the fore when Stella,after Alis death,tries to contact his family.
Scenes depicting Stellas effort to lessen Alis daughters bitterness towards her father and in the process getting dubbed as a traitor were a true delight for theatre connoisseurs.
The way Stella proves to Edward,a person of her community,that she hasnt betrayed his race and a simultaneous effort of establishing Ali as not a traitor but a victim of circumstances a lover,becomes the strong point of the play. Intense dimensions open up varying aspects of the theme,as Stellas efforts at reconciliation stand in sharp contrast to Hari,another native and illustrate that a new beginning is not easy.
Ayesha Mago as Stella,Brian Martin as Edward,Oroon Das as Ali Khan have sure done justice to the script by Tripurari Sharma,often dubbed as one amongst the most committed feminist theatre persons around.
Swaroopa Ghosh deserves credit both for her acting prowess and singing.
Overall,the Hungry Heart Festival presentation Traitors was undoubtedly,a theatre treat.