A range of productions shows how Ibsen’s plays have been adapted to different cultures and milieus.
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was first staged in the late 19th Century. Since then, it’s been performed countless times and taken on countless interpretations. This year, the seventh annual Delhi Ibsen Festival will see yet another exciting and intriguing take on what is, perhaps, the Norwegian playwright’s most famous work. His protagonist, Nora, will become Tehmina Murad in the Pakistani version of the play, Gurrya ka Ghar, performed by Tehrik-e-Niswan from Pakistan. Sheema Kirmani of the group feels that this play should be staged in Pakistan, a country that still remains male dominated with women being one of the most suppressed sections.
Organised by the Norwegien Embassy and the Delhi-based Organisation Dramatic Art and Design Academy, the Festival has, over the years, staged plays that have been both experimental and representative of how different cultures — be it African, Asian, European — have adapted Ibsen to their cultural ethos and milieu.
This year, the Festival has added a new element by inviting international directors to work on Ibsen productions with Indian theatre groups. A mix of seven Indian and international productions present a cross-section of ‘different Ibsens’. Festival curator, Nissar Allana, says that all the plays are connected by a socio-political theme.
Kolkata-based Padatik presents The Master Builder, directed by Wlodzimierz from Poland. This is the story of a man who has exploited women all his life and is now driven to destruction by a rebounding female energy. Two young directors from Manipur and Kerala, Heisnam Tomba and Sankar Venkateswaran, will present specially commissioned productions of Enemy of the People and When We Dead Awaken.
The festival facilitates an interesting interaction between three elements: the script, the director and the performers. This year, the festival will also see a performance by the National Touring Theatre of Norway, Riksteatret, which will stage The Lady and the Sea. Though the play will be in Norwegian, Allana assures that English super-titles in this and other regional and foreign language plays will overcome the language barrier.
The last two days will see a seminar on Ibsen, with Professor Helge Ronning as the keynote speaker. The seminar is explores Ibsen’s work in a wider, more global and cultural context.
Bottomline: Exploring Ibsen’s work in a wider, more global and cultural context
Delhi Ibsen Festival 2012
Where: Kamani Auditorium and LTG Auditorium, New Delhi
When: December 1-7 (Plays) December 8-9 (Seminar)
More details: +919911728401, +919999055775