Entertainment

A lunatic king in town

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 9, 2018-

The Nepali musical adaptation of Andheri Nagari Chaupat Raja, a famous Indian drama, is currently on stage at Kunja Theatre, in Thapagaun, Baneshwor, here in the Capital.  The play is translated from Hindi and directed by Ashish Ghimire and Sangeet Sapkota, who had previously brought to stage the Nepali adaptation of Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal. 

Three Hindu sages arrive at Andheri Nagari to discover its bizarre tradition where everything—from Viagra to Religion—can be bought and sold for a nominal price of one mana—the currency in use in the fictional kingdom. Soon the audience meets the king who most likely enforced that practice. The King, literally named Chaupat Raja, when unable to give justice to one of his subjects, sets in motion a series of events that form the bulk of the play.  The dramatic moments, though tragic in nature, provide the comedy that the play hinges on.

The shared cultural ties between India and Nepal have made the play immediately accessible to the Nepali audience, but what steals the audience’s heart away is the unique Nepalification of the characters and the setting. The purposeful stereotyped diversity of the people on Andheri Nagari  is representative of Nepal, providing an immediacy to the audience. That closeness was brought home by the lyrical dialogues which were set to popular Nepali folk tunes.

“It took us a week to do the translation,” the director duo shared, “Once the rehearsals started we added or removed scenes to fit the nature of the actors.”  After the show on Monday evening, the directors and the actors were enamored by the positive feedback of the audience. “We learned the style of cultural adaptation from Sunil Pokhrael, senior theatre artist and director,” the directors shared with the Post, “This is our second production where we have adapted a play to fit the Nepali context. While there is still room for improvement, we have consciously attempted to rectify our previous errors.” 

The play is currently being staged at Kunja Theatre, in Thapagaun, Baneshwor, everyday at 5:30 and will continue till May 12. There will also be a matinee show on Saturday at 1 pm.

Published: 09-05-2018 08:44

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