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Mareech: The Legend and Other Plays

Authors (s): Arun Mukherjee (Author) , Himani Banerjee (Translator) , Utkal Mohanty (Translator)
Format: Softcover
ISBN-10: 8170461510
Pages: 148p.
Pub. date: 01.01.1999, 1st ed.
Publisher: Seagull Books Pvt. Ltd.
Language (s): English
Bagchee ID: BB29819
List price: US $ 8,89
Bagchee price: US $ 8,00
You save: (10.00%)
Member price: US $ 7,20 info

Overview for Mareech: The Legend and Other Plays

Arun Mukherjee’s Mareech Sambad and Jagannath are highly popular plays in the theatre world of West Bengal. There are probably very few theatre goers in Calcutta, and in the district towns, who have not seen these plays, which have been performed through hundreds of well-attended nights. They have also been presented with success in Canada and the United States. Described as complex and intelligent theatre, these plays are political in the best sense of the word. As Himani Banerji says in her introduction, ‘Never more than now did we need the stories of class and class struggle—but told in a way that is worthy of the social and formative complexity, the elusiveness, the many-facedness of the concept of class. And it is here that Arun Mukherjee comes in with his two plays, which speak of class intelligently, with humour.’ Mareech Sambad, in particular, could be called a cult hit in the group theatre world of Bengal. It is a cleverly structured, intelligent, humorous look at the changing forms of exploitation through space and time, starting with the story of Mareech the demon from the Ramayana, taking in USA’s Vietnam intervention, and coming down to the contemporary period. Jagannath, adapted from Lu Xun’s Chinese tale ‘The Story of Ah Q’, ostensibly tells the tale of a simple peasant, but in the process examines and exposes the subtle ways in which centuries of hierarchical oppression mould the psyche of the oppressed. Arun Mukherjee is a playwright, director and actor who, with his group Chetana, has been an integral part of the group theatre scene in Calcutta for decades. Himani Banerjee, who has translated Jagannath and written the introductory essay, teaches in the Sociology Department at York University, Toronto. Her published works include collections of essays on Bengali theatre, feminism, Marxism and anti-racisim. Utkal Mohanty, the translator of Mareech Sambad, has other translations to his credit; he has also written lyrics and co-scripted a feature film. He is a founder-member of the Bangalore theatre group forum Three.
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