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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Winning Streaks at Play

Heartfelt stories of war-torn Baghdad,and a eunuch community were the big winners at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards in Delhi.

Written by Pallavi Pundir |
March 12, 2012 3:00:03 am

When Baghdad came to the theatre stage of Kamani Auditorium in Delhi,one did not just hear the sounds of bombs and guns. There were scenes of flamboyant living and bacchanalian evenings. A play written by London-based Iraqi molecular biologist Hassan Abdulrazzak,and directed by Akarsh Khurana of Mumbai-based theatre group Akvarious Productions,Baghdad Wedding scored a hat trick at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META). At the ceremony in Delhi on Wednesday,the play bagged awards for Best Supporting Actor (Female),Best Ensemble and,ultimately,Best Play. “This is my first win for Best Play after being nominated thrice at META in this category,” said Khurana.

The other play that had reason to celebrate was Santaap,by Rangashram,a group from Bengal. A poignant tale of a eunuch whose relationship with her adopted son comes to a traumatic end when the latter abandons her,it won lead actor Sandip Bhattacharya the Best Actor (Male) award. A few minutes later,Sandip was back on stage — this time to pick up the Best Supporting Actor (Male) award for his brother Aniruddh.

Veteran stage actor Lilette Dubey,looking her glamourous best,lifted the statuette for Best Actor (Female) and said,“I have been in theatre for 36 years. Adhe Adhure is my first Hindi play. This is only the second time in the past seven years that I am contesting for an award.” In Adhe Adhure,she plays the lead role of Savitri,a working woman married to an unemployed man. If Adhe Adhure drew attention to a woman’s sociopolitical identity,Samjhauta focussed on the existential concerns of a young man. The play won National School of Drama,Delhi,graduate Praveen Kumar Gunjan the coveted Best Director and Best Original Script awards.

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