Abhinet, the oldest theatre group of Chandigarh, is all set to stage another classic, Raktbeej, written by Shankar Shesh and directed by theatre person, author and critic Vijay Kapoor. Established in 1974 to promote the study and appreciation of the art of drama by producing and sponsoring plays, Abhinet, in the course of almost four decades, has brought to stage over 85 full-length plays by many Indian and foreign playwrights and story writers. Abhinet’s professional approach to theatre has earned its productions many accolades and it continues to give a platform to new theatre actors, directors and musicians.
Playwright Shankar Shesh believed in re-inventing mythology and has done this through his many works including Ek Aur Dronacharya and Komal Gandhar. The play Raktbeej is also inspired by the mythical demon Raktbeej, whose every drop of blood creates another replica of his.
The plot of Raktbeej unfolds exploitation of human values and ethics through two stories and presents the darker and the weaker side of humans, who embrace opportunism to accomplish their unfulfilled aspirations. In the first story, a middle-class, ambitious man exploits his own wife for moving up the ladder and eventually she commits suicide. The second story is of a guileless scientist, who is cheated of his well-deserved success by his boss, who goes an extra mile and snuffs out his own life in order to achieve success, glory and immortality. What is interesting is the treatment of these stories by the playwright. Necessary intrusions by the “conscience” of the characters make it extremely compelling. Interplay of human weakness, longing for false societal pride and conscience-keepers’ appeal falling on deaf ears accentuate the sub-textual-appeal of the play.
“Though the play was written in the late ’70s, it is still relevant as such situations are very much present in contemporary times. The interplay of real and surreal characters will take the audience through an exciting and mesmerising experience. It was a challenge bringing out the inner self of the main characters surreal compositions. Abhinet is celebrating 46 years of its existence and what better way to commemorate it than staging a new production,” says Kapoor, who apart from acting in plays, has worked in films and television serials. The play stars Babita Kapoor, Gaurav Ahuja, Sanjay Malhotra, Shubham Vashishth, Gautam Prakash and Pranav Vashishth.
Raktbeej will be staged at Tagore Theatre on February 25 at 6.30 pm.