Commemorating the diamond jubilee celebrations, the Department of English at Mount Carmel College (MCC) will host an exhibition in honour of the English playwright and dramatist William Shakespeare. The exhibition will showcase rare memorabilia and artefacts of the Bard, collected by the retired English professor, famously known as the Shakespearewallah of Mysuru, B.N. Balaji.
Literature enthusiasts can attend the event on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Diamond Jubilee Auditorium.
“Public awareness will certainly increase and it will be very interesting to know certain facts. The books and rare collection that Mr. Balaji has will please the audience, especially the students,“ said I. Vinitha Chandra from the English department.
A rare statue of the character Shylock sourced from London will be a major attraction. Production posters featuring Hollywood magnums Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Sir John Gielgud, and Benedict Cumberbatch will be other additions. Apart from this, 100-year-old long play records, an antique book of the drama Hamlet valued at just ₹5, and Shakespeare’s book of insults will also be featured.
The exhibition will showcase unique editions of Shakespeare’s works, notable quotes, playing cards, encyclopedia, miniature figurines, badges, coasters, magnets, and bookmarks which have been sourced from 14 countries. Vintage tickets of films, dramas, theatre and dance shows inspired by Bard’s creations will be displayed. Rare Vernacular and foreign translations will be included.
Mr. Balaji, who has been an avid collector of Shakespeare’s works, says his sole aim is to introduce college students to the opuses of the playwright. “I want the students to know that if they want a better understanding of themselves, their parents, society, history, and psychology, they must read Shakespeare. Shakespeare combines all the disciplines that one learns in college in his works,” he said.
“I am really excited about the exhibition. Mainly, because we have been introduced to Shakespeare by our professors. I know the academics, want to experience the other aspects,” said Nandini Chakravorty, a student.
Mr. Balaji will interact with the crowd prior to the exhibition by indulging them in a series of Shakespearean readings. The drama club of MCC will stage dramatised readings.