Bengaluru

A fitting tribute to theatre and the playwright

Bangalore Little Theatre, staged its first ever production from six decades ago in Bengaluru.

Bangalore Little Theatre, staged its first ever production from six decades ago in Bengaluru.

How best to celebrate 60 years of a theatre troupe? The city’s renowned theatre troupe, Bangalore Little Theatre, staged its first ever production from six decades ago in Bengaluru to mark the landmark.

A farcical comedy The Middle Class Gentleman, written by French playwright Moliere, enthralled audiences over the last few weeks, with a season finale on Sunday.

It also marked the 400th birth anniversary of the playwright, making it a fitting tribute to both the theatre and the playwright. 

In fact, the first production of BLT was in 1960 and the troupe wanted to celebrate the landmark in 2020, but the pandemic came in the way.

“The idea was that we do a fun play. Then we hit on the idea as to why not do our first production? So here we are,” said Shubham Srivatsav, the director of the play.

BLT was started in 1960 by English couple Scott Todd and Margaret Todd along with others. The Todds were part of the Little Theatre movement in the United Kingdom.

The movement started in the United States of America to experiment and loosen up the then orthodox dramatic forms and methods of composition from the complexities of large theatres.

The Todds’ commitment to a genuine theatre experience led to the formation of BLT, which has since then been a leading theatre troupe in the city. 

Originally written in French by Moliere, The Middle Class Gentleman tells the story of a man who has newly come into money in French society. As he tries to ape the rich and gain acceptance, he makes a fool of himself. When his daughter falls for a common man, as against her father’s wishes that she marries an aristocrat, the young lovers cook up a story to con the father and again fool him.

“So, it’s like a play within a play. Its commentary on a class rid  society is relevant even now,” Mr. Shrivatsav said. 

BLT auditioned for the play and conducted rehearsals for over three months. “The play has nearly 30 people, a mix of those with considerable theatre experience and some newcomers,” Mr. Shrivastv said.

For over 50 years people have been saying theatre is a dying art, but we continue to get a steady stream of audiences and theatre enthusiasts who want to be part of productions, he said. 


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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 9:12:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/a-fitting-tribute-to-theatre-and-the-playwright/article65595403.ece