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Chekov play in Nepali flavor
The play ‘Teen Baini’ is being staged at Shilpee Theater, Battisputali since May 4. Directed and conceptualized by Ghanshyam Shrestha, it is an adaption of the Russian play ‘Three Sisters’ penned by well-known Russian litterateur Anton Chekov. Earlier, Shrestha directed ‘Bimba Ka Sapana,’ ‘Bed No. 99’ and ‘Yo Kunai Bas Ho Ek’.
Like Chevok’s original work, ‘Teen Baini,’ is realistic and naturalistic in terms of characters, plot, setting, dialogue and props which makes it relevant for contemporary society.
Apart from names of characters and places, he has successfully showcased what Chekov wanted to show to the audience by involving minimal changes. In the original, the eldest sister’s name is Olga, the middle sister is Masha and the youngest one is Irina whereas in Shrestha’s adaptation the three sisters are named Aava, Maya and Reena respectively. In the original play the three sisters yearned to move to Moscow while in Shrestha’s work, they all wish to go back to ‘Rajdhani’ (capital city). By altering the names of people and places, the director makes the play more accessible to a Nepali audience.
The plot is an easy one revolving around the life of three sisters who are the round characters of the play dreaming to move out of their depressing town and return to the capital. But, as life is not what we think it is, their dream remains a far-fetched reality. There is a dominance of dialogues over action in the play. In this regard the actors do a commendable job.
As is characteristic to Chekov’s plays, this play also depicts action off-stage instead of on-stage. The incident of a fire in the town in act three, the fight between Samir and Biswas Dhoj are two examples from this play. Such a quality in a plan demands the audience’s attention which Shrestha is successful in capturing.
The set of the play is the heart of the play. The sofas, red carpet, tea glass table are so artistically placed on the stage that they are less like props and more like a collective character instead. The audience can enjoy the story effortlessly with the settings and backgrounds, from the living room to the dining room, being that realistic.
Director Shrestha told Republica at the end of the play that it was a challenging job to translate Chekov’s play into Nepali. He had expected to show the play two years ago at a theater but couldn’t do so then.
The play is slated to run till May 26 except on Tuesdays.