BINA SHARIF FOR ARTSINTERNATIONAL
CHAK DE CHEKHOV!
Presented by ICS THEATRE
Directed by Mahesh Dattani
Assistant director: Barkha Kishnani
Adapted by Ics Theatre
Ckak De Chekhov, is a HINDI ADAPTATION of eight of Anton Chkhov's short stories.
Chekhov is one of the greates Russin playwright/short story writer and a doctor.
His brilliant plays such as, Three Sisters, Seagul, Cherry Orchard, Wild Honey are produced all over
the world. His writing is about the human spirit. His every day observations about life are amazing and the little details about human character and its flaws and strong points illuminate life's incredible energy, pathos, irony, farce and tragedy. There is tremendous humor in his tales.
It also contains lots of sadness about the lives of people who belongs to the working classes and are in awe of authority thus having a great need to please , apologise and seek their approval which is very apparent in one of the short story in this production, "Ha chhoo," (Death of a government clerk) very nicely directed by Mahesh Dattani, India's most prolific Playwright/Director.
ORDER OF THE STORIES;
Mazaak hi to tha: (Joke) Script: Aditya Datey
Ji Motaben: (Ninny) Gayatri Desai
Chhee: Work of art; Mazhar Sadikot
Mehengai Maar Gay: ( carelessness) Aditye Datey
Daayan Kahin Ki: (The witch ) Shailendra Khurana
Ha Chhoo: Aditya Datey: (Death of a govenment Clerk)
Hai hai yeh majboori: Aditya Datey : (The surgery)
Dekho dekho film star: Mazhar Sadikot: (Such is fame)
With the depiction of Russian every day life of peasants, poor people, lowly clerks and high gentry
with passion, pathos, pessimism by Chekhov and then the humor of Hindi language, the result is totally funny and fascinating. In the story Such Is Fame, The effect gathers a universal desire to be famous no matter what and how! and what is revealed here is that talent, genius and hard work most of the time is not required to be famous. No matter how hard an engineer or a university professor or a scientist works people will rave about a mindless actress or a singer with very little talent and talk about her figure, her clothes, her fame at the expense of real talent and enormous work. At the end of this story one man who had been complaing a lot about lack of fame is asked a question by the other man about his identity, (A talented man by the way) and the complainer is totally ignorant of his existence.
In Ji Motaben, (Ninny) The servant works so hard all day and the employer keeps subtracting her income by this or that complaint to test if the servant protests against the injustice. Chekhov is brilliant about the servitude of the lower class.
Hachhoo, (Death of a Government clerk) One of Chekov's earlier published stories is such an observation of the submissness and inferiority complex of the people in lower ranks.
A clerk happens to go see an Opera and can't help his huge sneeze. He notices a gentleman of higher ranks, actually his boss wiping his forhead. The clerk is terror stricken and apologises profusely and apologise the next day and the next day and then dies of the deadly fear of annoying his boss.
A beutifully tender and romantic story, Mazaak hi to Tha (Joke) A young couple goes out to
have a little fun and the man encourages the lady to take a risky ride so he can express his love to her. She loves the expression of his affection so much that wants to keep taking those rides but it turns out that it was just a jester , (A joke) by the guy.
In Daayan Kahin Ki, (The Witch) A lonely wife is accused by her husband of being a witch because she can will a strom on wintery nights so the men can stop by to be warm and rest so she can have some fun and company.
This production is directed precisely and simply. The actors use milk crates and move them around from one area to another to set up the next scene, The set is the least cumberson and gives the feeling of lightness and ease.
The whole cast is absolutely brilliant and many stand out even further.
Shailendra Khurana, Khagesh Pathak, Debjani Banerjee, Gayatri Desai, Jyoti Presswala and many more are particulary impressive.
The lighting design is very effective and creates appropriate atmosphere for every story.
This play is so much fun and is so strong and hilarious that it must be performed regularly and for lor much longer run. Its also educational about Chekov's work.
It was a very enjoyable evening for me. ICS Theatre company has done a tremendous job.
Bina Sharif: Publisher/Editor: artsinternational