Thursday, May 17, 2012

Multiple Characters



























Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Critical Acclaim...and more!

Mahatma vs Gandhi holds US audience in raptures
Jyotirmoy Datta
NEW YORK 6 MAY

IF THE tumultuous ovation by the sell-out audience here is any indication, the projected 10-city US tour of the play Mahatma vs Gandhi, directed by Feroz Khan seems set for a resounding success.

With Naseeruddin Shah playing the role of the Mahatma, Neena Kulkarni as Kasturba and Kay Kay as their first-born son Hiralal it was described by critics attending it as an almost flawless performance of international standards. [...] At curtain call, Khan not only had all his actors on the stage but also the behind-the-scene technicians, saying that it was entirely a team effort with everyone contributing equally.

Naseeruddin Shah made the Mahatma come alive on the stage, recapturing the slight stoop of the Bapu’s walk, his crosslegged crouch before his spinning wheel, even the very tone and timbre of his larger-than-life subject's voice.

Kulkarni’s Kasturba was a woman of epic depth, torn between a mother's love for her first-born and a wife's unquestioning faith in the tenets of her husband. Kay Kay's all-too-human Hiralal wrings our hearts, sometimes eclipsing in his frailty Naseeruddin's stern Mahatma The present play in English [...] began as a novel in Gujarati, Prakashno Padchhayo by Dinkar Joshi. It was adopted by Ajit Dalvi and reworked into its present shape with Khan contributing to the script.

The debut of the play in India did not go unnoticed and its US tour opened with a paean of praise in the Arts & Ideas section of The New York Times by the paper's chief of India bureau John Bums.

"A widely hailed stage production, Mahatma vs Gandhi has broken the taboos and Americans have an opportunity to join in the debate it has unleashed about one of history's most famous figures,” Burns wrote.

“The play looks at Gandhi through the prism of his tortured relationship with the eldest of his four sons, Hiralal, who died in a Bombay hospital barely five months after Gandhi's assassination, racked by tuberculosis and probably — the version accepted by the play — also by syphilis.

These two events provide the starting point for a production that many Indian critics have described as one of the best acted, most provocative English-language plays to emerge from lndia in years.” So strong was the demand for tickets that the Namashkar Foundation, which is hosting the tour on America's East Coast, announced at the end of the show that it was planning an encore performance in the New York area on May 30. IANS

EXCERPTED
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