Great Text Reading - Come read a play with us!
On the last Monday of every month people meet in Q's drawing room to read a play they may have heard of but not necessarily have read. Writer's come to see how the greats wrote, actors come to play multiple parts and theatre lovers come because it keeps them in touch with the art form. It is open all and everyone takes turns in playing characters from the play. Discussions ensue after over tea and biscuits.
In 2011, the theatre world lost some of its iconic playwrights. So over the next 3 months, we will be reading some of the works of these legendary playwrights.
In the month of January, we will be reading, Partap Sharma's controversial 'A Touch of Brightness' - Rukmini, a girl sold to a brothel in Mumbai and her relationship with Pidku, a street urchin, who tries desperately to rescue her from her life as a prostitute. Rukmini mesmerises Pidku with her visionary stories of the gods and her dreams of a married life as the wife of the blue god Krishna.. Even in a brothel, her extravagant optimism never ceases but only deepens.
Partap Sharma(12 December 1939 – 30 November 2011) was an Indian playwright, novelist, author of books for children, commentator, actor and documentary film-maker. Among his many acoldes include National Award for the lead in 'Phir Bhi' and the Hamid Sayani Trophy for a lifetime in excellence in film and radio. He was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at Thespo 9 in 2007.
In 1965 the play was selected for the first Commonwealth Arts Festival from among 150 works of Commonwealth writers. It was also invited to tour four theatres in Britain for a commercial run. In September 1965 the production troupe, sponsored by the Indian National Theatre, was prohibited from proceeding to England. To prevent the troupe of actors from going abroad to present the work, fifteen passports were impounded overnight. The authorities gave no explanation for this, but the reason was obvious.The play was banned in Mumbai in 1966 on the grounds that it was set in the infamous redlight area of the city and therefore ‘dealt with subjects which should not be depicted on stage’. Seven years later, in 1972, the Mumbai High Court decreed that the censoring authority had ‘exceeded its jurisdiction’ and the ban was revoked. The play was produced by the Indian National Theatre in Mumbai in 1973.