For those who need more proof of Shakespeares universality,Roy-e-Sabs,a theatre group from Afghanistan,offers that with their production of The Comedy of Errors,directed by French theatre actor Corinne Jaber. In this play,the setting changes to modern-day Kabul while the actors speak in Dari Parsian. What adds to its global flavour is that the entire cast was stationed at Nrityagram,Bangalore,for nearly a month to rehearse. The play is currently touring India before its date with the World Shakespeare Festival at Londons Globe Theatre on May 30 and 31.
Two days into rehearsals at the British Council auditorium in Kabul,the whole premise was bombed by
Taliban in August 2011, recalls Roger Granville,producer of the play. This brought rehearsals to a halt till the cast moved to Nrityagram earlier this year,following an invitation from Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Once the play was ready,the group set out on a multi-city tour in India. The play with English subtitles opened at Rangashankara,Bangalore,on May 12,before travelling to Pune. Two of its shows are scheduled at Prithvi Theatre,Mumbai,on Saturday and more are slated to take place at ICCR,Delhi,on May 22.
Roy-e-Sabs is called theatrical miracle on the Globe Theatre website for the pathbreaking work the group has been doing in Kabul for seven years now. The groups 2005 production of Loves Labour Lost in an ancient garden in Kabul raised many eyebrows as it had both men and women in the cast. That apart,it had lovers holding hands and some female members of the cast did not have their head covered. Jaber,born to German-Syrian parents,has been doing theatre in Afghanistan ever since. This is the first time they are performing outside Kabul. After our shows at Globe Theatre,we will be travelling to Germany. Once done with these shows,the play will be staged again in Kabul, says Granville.