Goutam Shankar Das
Jamshedpur: People’s Association for Theatre (PATH) is one of those surviving units among a plethora of performing teams that scripted the end of their journey due to TV sitcoms and acrimony among members. PATH emerged in the mid ‘90s of the last millennium and has continued since then to present effective plays with a mission to reflect the realities of a squeezed middle class. NISHAN is another group that turns up with performances as do the curators of Bengali theatre, Theatre Artistes of Jamshedpur (TAJ).
Do Kaudi ka Khel by PATH is an adaptation of Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht’s creation, ‘Three Penny Opera’ that has been relevant and will remain so for times to come. The play has been dubbed an irony, a satire and sometimes a tale of misshapen tragedy where people laugh at themselves and their fate. Ever since the play premiered on August 31, 1928, Brecht’s creation has remained a poignant reflection of many ‘todays’ through time and this is where PATH picks up the threads and presents a sensational tale poignantly and authoritatively.
This musical drama grips the audience right through its performance marked by individual brilliance in a group presentation of such magnitude. The pains and pangs of a compressed and suppressed middle class continues to be a prevailing truth and Director Md Nizam does full justice to the Indian adaptation in Hindi to Brecht’s relevant and immortal creation, ‘Three Penny Opera.’
It is hard to believe that artistes still in their basic learning process under the able and trusted guidance of Md Nizam could bring forth the subtle nuances of thematic characterization with such aplomb. Subtle text and effective delivery by the artistes, have combined to make the presentation of ‘Do Kaudi ka Khel,’ an impactful vehicle to give theatre an additional tag of relevance. There was pin drop silence and even the irritating, sotto voce discussions among the audience remained frozen at the Michael John Auditorium. The accolades after the performance were astounding going by the claps the auditorium resounded with.
It is a privilege to mention here that ‘Do Kaudi ka Khel,’ has won kudos and awards at many away shows too. There have been other theatre presentations from the PATH stable that are reassurances of theatre surviving and surviving well in spite of many other performing units preferring to remain anonymously silent in the album of memories.