Can one imagine Partner in conversation with Antu Barva? Or the witty,yet touching narrative of Aika Sakhe to be mixed with the words from Asa mee,Asa mee? But this week,the Marathi intelligentsia and literature fans are in for a treat,as a Talegaon-based theatre group,Shabdagandhar marry the words by two of Maharashtra’s legendary writers PL Deshpande and VP Kale,for the ongoing Pulotsav.
The two-year-old theatre group was toying with the idea of bringing the essence of both the writers on the stage,in an approachable manner. Shridhar Kulkarni,the writer of the play titled VaPuLa,says,”Even though the writing style of Vapu and Pula are totally different and unique,I always thought that they stood for the same things that the essence of the stories they told was somehow the same.” That is when he started writing a script that would inculcate the concepts,ideals,famous lines and characters from the works by Deshpande and Kale. He also informs that they have used several legendary dialogues such as “Mala fakta partner mhan,” (call me partner) or “Puravyane shabit karin,” (I will prove it with evidence),among others.
“The original script panned out to be over nine hours in on-stage time,” says Parag Bapat,the director of the play,with a laugh. “But after a lot of struggle,we cut it down to two versions,a two-hour play and a one-hour version,” he says.
Bapat says that they have incorporated several works by the authors into the play. From Deshpande’s character sketches from Vyakti Ani Valli,to Kale’s famous novel Partner,Bapat and Kulkarni read almost every published work by the authors as a research.
“We have incorporated several dramatic elements in the play,” informs Bapat. From live background score on stage,to intelligent use of lighting,one of the interesting elements on stage is the use of live sketching and painting on stage. “An artist draws the reaction of the people in the audience and the general mood of the play on stage. It is a very unique experience for the people on the other side of the stage,” says Bapat.
The play was first performed over a year-and-a-half ago in Talegaon,for a small audience. “In Pune,too,we have had a few smaller performances. But this will be our first performance on such a large scale,” says Bapat.
The play has been directed by Bapat,written by Kulkarni and stars Sujay Jadhav,Nikhil Gavand,Siddha Andhale and Radhika Dingankar,among others. The music has been composed by Rahul Joglekar and Yadnesh Ambekar.
(VaPuLa will be staged on November 26 at Tilak Smarak Mandir,from 5 pm onwards.)