Written by Sahana Iyer and Shweta Pakhare
With over 1,800 successful shows, the popular play Eka Lagnachi Gosht became one of the longest-running plays in Marathi theatre, even being adapted as a movie and a popular TV show by the same name. After 20 years, its sequel Eka Lagnachi Pudchi Gosht will be staged today. Written and directed by Advait Dadarkar, it offers a glimpse into the life of a married couple, played by actors Prashant Damle and Kavita Lad Medhekar, who are about to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. Incidents leading to the day test the love and trust in their relationship.
“There is the difference of time in both the plays. The first play was about newlyweds, learning to adjust to new surroundings. In this play, we’re more mature, have been married for about 20 years, and are parents to an 18-year-old boy, Atharva. The characters of Mani and Manya are the same but they have grown older,” says Damle. Their questions about life and marriage are different now as is their ability to handle difficult situations in their life.
After a two-decade gap, Damle admits that the expectations have increased. “The Maharashtrian theatre audience have expectations and we have to meet them. Since the first part had over 1,800 shows, we have the responsibility to ensure that the second part is also good. The process of the play began last November. It took one year to get it on the stage. We rehearsed for 45 days. You have to continuously prove yourself to be seen as reliable by the audience,” says Damle.
The previous edition of the play had memorable dialogues and songs. One such was the immensely popular Mala sanga sukh mhanje kay asta? The sequel has Damle singing a new song at the end of the play, Tu hi asava, Mi hi asavi. Damle, who has been in the theatre industry for more than 34 years, says that this play works as a stand-alone and that it is more of a musical with a comedy element. “The music is the USP of the play, which has been composed by Ashok Patki. He has 55 years of experience in the industry. The melodies are based on Indian classical music. He has kept the tune simple so that people can remember the tune and words,” says Damle, adding that music helps carry the story forward.
Recent years have seen new-age theatre groups experimenting with content and performance. Damle says it is harder to pull off a play with simple content. “If we can show what happens in one day, maybe at the office or home, then viewers relate to it,” he says.
Imagining the next chapter of ‘Mani and Manya’, Damle says that the third part of the play should aptly be named, Eka Lagnachi Pudchya Pudchi Gosht.
The play will be staged on December 1, at 12.30 pm, at Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir. Tickets on Bookmyshow