Thought Box

The Perfect Marriage

The Perfect Marriage

by Deepa Gahlot January 3 2019, 5:58 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 17 secs

The Marathi play Chi Sau Ka Rangbhumi, produced by Natyasampada’s Anant Panshikar, written and directed by Sampada Joglekar Kulkarni works with a fascinating premise - the marriage of Rangbhumi (Theatre played by the director) with Rasik Raja (Audience played by Rahul Mehandale). Of course, such a match can survive only when there is mutual respect, understanding and a way of growing together.

The production uses this premise to encapsulate the history of Marathi theatre from 1842 onwards. The golden age of Marathi Natak was studded with musicals (natyasangeet), with lavish sets, costumes and wonderful songs. 

The starcast of Chi Sau Ka Rangbhumi

The success of this experiment hinges on the casting of actor-singers, who can manage the classical-based Natyasangeet style of singing; Panshikar put out a casting call on social media and selected a group of very talented actors, who regaled the audience with timeless songs and also played multiple parts.

In the early days, the parts of women were played by men, and Bal Gandharva was the undisputed star—Nachiket Lele played the part with admirable confidence. Two female singers Shamika Bhide and Ketaki Chaitanya too had mellifluous voices and an attractive stage presence.

Chi Sau Ka Rangbhumi

There could be a disagreement from those who are natyasangeet aficionados on the choice of productions to highlight, and perhaps a pick of just a handful of popular plays and songs, and not necessarily the path-breaking ones. 

The marriage goes through a strain with the advent of the gramophone, the radio and later, television. But as a character says, theatre is like a flowing stream, while other media are like still lakes - there is really no comparison, or competition.

The jump to modern theatre, had scenes from classics like Ekach Pyala, To Mee Nhavech, Natsamrat, Tee Phulrani, Moruchi Moushi and Hamidabaichi Kothi - which is when the selection became more problematic, when two of the productions chosen were adaptations from Western plays (Charlie’s Aunt and Pygmalion), and the vibrant experimental theatre movement was ignored. Without a mention of at least Vijay Tendulkar out of the modern playwrights, no history of Marathi theatre can be complete.

The contentious selection of songs and scenes apart, Chi Sau Ka Rangbhumi, would evoke a kind of hum-along nostalgia among older members of the audience, and introduce youngsters to a rich tradition of Marathi theatre; if they are entranced by it, they can find their own ways of filling the gaps by reading about it, keeping track of the frequent revivals of old classics or watching a number of videos available on the net. It is, ironically, the hated enemy of theatre – technology - that might keep memories of another day alive.



Since you are here...

--- we have a very small favour to ask. More people are reading The Daily Eye now than ever. The Daily Eye is run by a team that believes in amplifying voices of those who otherwise find it hard to be heard, highlighting all the good work done by influencers, leaders, celebrities and informing readers about the latest in the efforts being made by so many of us to heal our world. We work hard to serve you regularly and we don't carry advertisements or anything that would adulterate your experience. We do our best to keep our content enriched, wholesome and inspiring and we do everything under the sun to stay positive and informed along with you.

If you are not well acquainted with our humble website, you might not be aware of the social work we do like mentoring underprivileged children and youth by providing filmmaking workshops besides the articles and films we produce on a regular basis. All this requires funding. If you like our work then please help us to secure our future. For as little as $1 or Rs.65 you can support The Daily Eye - and it won't take you more than a minute. Thanks for hearing us out!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of thedailyeye.info. The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.

Is the Content on this page relevent?


Is there Something you do not like about this page?