Although written in 2001, Poile Sengupta’s Alipha is relevant in today’s time of polarising politics and violence against women. The play has two characters, an MLA’s son and a young girl who is an activist. There is no dialogue between them. Their stories play out on stage.
“The woman’s story is told as she ages from five to 25,” Poile says. “During the course of the play her language changes and so does her confidence. The man, on the other hand, speaks about one evening in his life. He is a politician’s son and gets drunk on his own power.”
The best part is that the audience connects the dots.
“The play is like a jigsaw puzzle that the audience pieces together,” says Arundhati Raja, the director. The device, Poile says, will make the “audience think about the play after it is over.” Poile says that though there was no immediate trigger to write the play, it grew as a result of long-term observations of situations and events of the time.
The play is highly relevant now, which is why Arundhati chose to stage it. “Poile and I know each other for many years. I hadn’t read her plays for sometime. I recently did, and it was a sort of a rediscovery of her works. The play is very well written and the characters are strong.”
Alipha is not set in a particular state, signifying that the issues in it are universal and are happening everywhere. Even though there are political and gender issues, the play is not propaganda. “It comes through in the characters,” says Arundhati.
The actors are Abhijeet Shetty and Kavya Srinivasan. The play will be staged from April 13 to April 22, at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield. Tuesday to Friday at 8 pm. Saturday and Sunday at 3 and 6.30 pm (Please note change in timing for Saturday shows). Tickets are available on bookmyshow.com and at the box office