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‘Charaharu Ko Sammelan’ pushes to be leader
KATHMANDU, Oct 29: ‘Charaharu Ko Sammelan’ (The Conference of The Birds) directed by Deeya Maskey with the theme ‘you yourself are your leader’ was showcased at Shilpee Theatre, Battisputali from Friday till Saturday.
The one-and-half-hour long play took the audience to a mythical journey as the plot revolved around the search of a spiritual king, a mystical bird Simorgh. The characters in the play performed as different birds and each of them depicted various human weaknesses such as selfishness, cruelty, lust and corruption, among others. Some artists played the role of a parrot that loves to stay in the cage and thinks it is superior to any other birds, while some played hawk that thinks he is brave.
This play was adapted for the stage by Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carrière in 1979 from Farid Uddi Attar’s 4,500-line poem. Puspa Raj Aacharya translated the play in Nepali for the performance.
In the beginning of play, different birds gather to decide who is to be their king. Faapre, the wisest of them, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh, a mythical bird from China to be their king. Therefore, Faapre tries to convince all other birds to take upon the adventure of finding Simorgh with thrilling stories of slaves, princess, saint and kings. The climax shows the birds being able to realize that they are all reflections of a Simorgh; a metaphor to become the leader.
The play used the traditional narrative technique and the performance style is based on physical theatre.
“With the support of Actorsstudio and American Embassy’s workshop on Physical Theatre, we tried to adapt ‘The Conference of The Birds’ in Nepali language,” said Deeya.
The spectacles of a drama play a vital role as they contribute to the sensory effects. The costumes, scenery, gestures, sound and the resonance of the actors' voices connect the audience. Like in this play, the birds’ costumes are simple and dull because Deeya believes that costumes should support the actors’ performance instead of covering their performance. “The costumes should not dominate the actors’ performance,” she said.
Though the play’s aesthetics need some improvisations here and there, overall the story and execution is commendable.