Nepali plays charm Kolkata crowd

- Timothy Aryal, Kolkata

Jun 21, 2018-

Two Nepali plays, Upiya ko Nibandha and Mr Fox and Schoolboy, were staged at the maiden Kolkata International Children’s Theatre Festival, currently held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata, India.  

The fest comprises the staging of sixteen plays from eight countries. Alongside Mr Fox and Schoolboy, the inaugural day saw the staging of three other plays. The fest opened with a Bengali play which made use of very little props, and revolved around the festival’s theme—Safe Drive, Save Life.

The second show, a solo performance by a Mexican artist, was more like a musical performance than a play per se. The artist played electric guitar to accompany the nursery rhymes that were projected on screen.

The last play of the opening day, Mr Fox and the Schoolboy, written and directed by Che Shankar, was largely composed of conversations between the two characters—Mr Fox (played by Dipendra Shahi) and schoolboy (played by Satish Prasai) and revolved around how deforestation is having an adverse impact on the lives of wild animals and human beings.

The second day of the fest, June 18, saw the staging of another play from Nepal, Upiya ko Nibandha, which was written and directed by Kedar Shrestha and performed by 14 student-actors of Prerana Vidyashram, in Lalitpur.

Ek Raj Aryal, the Consulate General of Nepal in Kolkata, remarked after the show, “Festivals like this one are significant means of establishing cultural ties between the two countries and I am humbled to see the performances. These budding artists from Nepal are really excellent.”

Upiya ko Nibandha is a story of events that transpire in a classroom at a village school. It revolves around the traditional approach of teaching in Nepal’s schools and its pitfalls. The play tells the story of a student who devises an ingenious yet unorthodox method of writing his essays, contrary to the teacher’s method, which infuriates the latter.

Upiya ko Nibandha was cheered throughout, for the story, more visually-driven than text-based, was understandable even to the non-Nepali speakers. Upiya ko Nibandha critiques the traditional way of teaching at schools and in its final act suggests its own method to how the teaching approach could be improved.

This was Upiya ko Nibandha’s 40th staging, having been first staged in 2011. Upiya ko Nibandha was enacted by actors Sakina Maharjan, Yogesh Maharjan, Kriti Maharjan, Nirdesh KC, Sachit Maharjan, Alex Maharjan,  Deeya Maharjan, and Lumanti Dangol, among others.

The play will soon be staged in Gandharva Theatre, Pokhara.

Published: 21-06-2018 09:08

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