The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 30 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plays reflect stigma of society

Balangir, Jan. 29: The annual multilingual theatre festival — Mathkhai Mahotsav — began on Sunday at the Koshal Kalamandal stage here.

Groups from different regions of the country have presented plays based on unique themes at the festival so far, which have won hearts of the audience.

The festival opened with Baba Pakhandi. The play was staged by Gudi, a theatre group based in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh.

It was a slapstick comedy based on a play by Bijayadan Dehta and directed by Jogendra Choube.

On Monday, Odia play Ninguli, written and directed by Dola Gobinda Rath, was staged in the evening. It was an experimental play.

Baba Pakhandi revolved around a man who wins the trust of the people as a godman after a series of incidents that he comes across. People believe that he has the power to do miracles. He now begins to take advantage of their blind faith. Even the king is duped by the immense popularity he enjoys. Director of the play said that the play was about the dangerous impact of superstition.

“It shows how the godman played with the emotions of the people and fooled them. It also talks about the superstitions in our society and how many people fall prey to such cheats,” Choube said. The story was narrated in the style of folk theatre tradition of Chhattisgarh. It was a slapstick humour in the folk-form of Chhattisgarhi naachaa.