Music of silence

THEY MAY be deprived of hearing, but their silence is more eloquent than words. Imagine a Shakesperean drama being staged without those moving lines. Impossible, one might think. But the sensory-challenged kids pulled off the incredible with elan - a feat that left many dumbstruck.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Turning adversity into advantage, deaf children of the Andhra Mahila Sabha Special School and Aliyavar Jung National Institute of Hearing Handicapped enacted `A Midsummer Night's Dream' to perfection on Saturday. The occasion was the celebrations marking the International Week of the Disabled.

Devoid of the powerful script, a Shakespearean play would lose its charm. But the pantomime, rather musical rendering, proved everyone wrong.

The audience enjoyed the rib-tickling comedy. And at the end of the 45-minute play, Ravindra Bharathi reverberated with standing ovation. It was forceful demonstration of the fact that the hearing impaired children are second to none.

But why `Midsummer Night's' was chosen for enactment? It is because of its simplicity, says play director, Abanti Chakraborty. Debojyoti Mishra's music supplemented the words while Mrinalini Singh's costumes and brilliant sets by Sanchayn Ghosh added to the charm. The 19-member team of students played the 16th century comedy to perfection.

For the benefit of the audience the characters carried placards indicating the `Law of Athens,' `Daughters marry as fathers will' and the `eloping' of Lysander and Hermia to forest.

All is well that ends well. For Joan D'Mello, Assistant Director of Aliyavar, staging the play was a dream come true.

By Ifthekhar J.S.

Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

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