Epic effort

Anusha Parthasarathy

From ‘Vidhuran’

‘Vidhuran’, based on the life of one of Mahabharatha’s greatest unsung heroes, impressed with its attention to detail

When you’re out to review a play, you often find yourself concentrating on the smaller details, more so to spot errors than to appreciate the effort. But in MacTrics’ ‘Vidhuran’, a conceptual drama based on the life of one of Mahabharatha’s greatest unsung heroes, the details were infallible, right from the toothy grins of the royal throne’s golden lions to the windy (and rather animated) sails of the Pandavas’ ship.

The play, an amalgamation of theatre, mime and dance, had two parallel stories; that of the admirable Vidhuran, who saved the Pandavas from Duryodhana’s wily schemes and a speech activist-turned-clown, who narrated his ‘unusual’ life through his monologue, trying to understand his place in the world.

The first part of the play began in Dhritarashtra’s court, where mummers took their places as the cast, backdrop and props. Throughout the play the dancers showcased myriad emotions — fear, happiness, wickedness, goodness, in perfect unison with their footsteps.

Following this, the narrative went on to explain without words, the various plots to kill the Pandavas and the way they were foiled. The mummers became a ship that was tossed by rough waves, the arrowed sail that flopped onto its pole, the horses that neighed and carried their load, tall trees that were cut down, the tent in which the Pandavas slept in the forest, the entrance to the House of Lac, a diwan in Duryodhana’s room, the statue of a Bharatanatyam dancer, a canoe and the cave through which the Pandavas escaped the burning palace. There were a couple of slip-ups but they were insignificant when compared to the effort that had gone into putting together the production. The props often shifted angles, and gave the audience a 360 degree view of a scene. Among the most memorable scenes was the Room of Mirrors that one of the Pandava twins accidently slips into, in the House of Lac. His mirrored images were precise and well-rehearsed, including that of the murderer who pretends to be a reflection.

The background score blended well with each situation. The characters were well etched out, though in the beginning, due to the sheer number of characters in the epic, Mahabharatha there was some confusion in identifying each actor.

Sravanth T.R., the clown, whose monologue was a tad too long, captivated with his words as his dialogue delivery was spontaneous.

With imaginative flashbacks, and statues and props that looked real the play effectively conveyed Vidhuran’s message of wisdom and sacrifice.

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