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It was in March this year when the Oxford University Press gave a red carpet welcome to Satish Alekar and his plays in the UK.

July 25, 2009 11:59:27 pm

Mickey ani Memsahib will now enthrall theatre enthusiasts at the Edinburgh Film Festival with its English version,which was recently published by the Oxford University Press

It was in March this year when the Oxford University Press (OUP) gave a red carpet welcome to Satish Alekar and his plays in the UK. The playwright’s collected plays were published on March 29 and today,a couple of months after Alekar,along with Mahesh Elkunchwar burst on to the English theatre scene,Edinburgh’s performing art group,Holy Cow,adds another milestone to the journey. The group will be staging Alekar’s Mickey ani Memsahib’s English version at the Edinburgh International Theatre Film Festival on August 27 and 29. The Holy Cow Performing Art Group is an amateur ensemble of artists performing dance,music and theatre works inspired by the Indian subcontinent.

Written by Alekar when he was 20-year-old,Mickey ani Memsahib is a surreal play about an Amazonian woman. At 20,tapping a subject that demanded surrealistic expressions as well as unconventional thought was Alekar’s favourite job. “Even today,the play is a riveting treat not just for audiences but also for budding directors like us,” writes Mihika Mukherjee,director of Mickey ani Memsahib in her blog.

Alekar,who is more than happy with youngsters adapting his plays,says the response of the present generation and the generations to come is the life and breath of his plays. “I am glad that Marathi theatre is stepping into other domains through my plays. If my plays become a medium for people across the globe to get to know and appreciate our culture and art,I will be more than obliged,” he adds.

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The play,originally written in Marathi in 1973,was staged by the Theatre Academy,Pune,with Mohan Agashe and Mohan Gokhale as part of the cast. “The play is about the Amazonian woman trying to control her scientist husband mentally as well as physically. I was in one of my creative highs when I imagined this play. It is all hypothetical but the ways to tackle the whole situation is what intrigues people. The Marathi version had Agashe and Gokhale,my usual line up and it was written and directed by me,” says Alekar. The play is known for its almost novelistic plot and the brilliant satire on the nature of scientific modernity.

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