Mumbai: The passage from one autumn to another should hardly ever be desultory. Who doesn’t wish to have a ‘mad’ start to the year? Who doesn’t wish to orchestrate beginnings with a change in the grammar of ‘new?’
Mad About Drama (MAD), a theatre group from Kolkata is in Mumbai to stage their production --- “A History of Butchers” --- at Prithvi Theatre as part of Thespo@Prithvi, on January 2-3.
The 120-minute-long play, directed by Aritra Sengupta, is in English except for two brief scenes in colloquial Bangla.
The play, based on Albert Camus’s “The Just Assassins,” originally known as “Les Justes,” is not a work of adaptation or reinterpretation. It is a fresh screenplay written using Stuart Gilbert’s English translation of the original.
Camus’s play is set in 1905 Russia, where five members of the revolutionary socialist party are planning to bomb the Grand Duke. The play borrows sparsely from actual historical events and is a discourse on revolution, and life itself.
MAD’s “A History of Butchers” lifts characters, events, plots and ideas from the source text, but instead of a period drama, it is developed in a cusp where characters, under the all-encompassing idea of assassination, transcend temporal and spatial boundaries. Therefore, it is “A History” as opposed to “The History” oscillating between past, present, and future.
The teaser, which lasts a little over a minute, is an amalgamation of various famous assassinations from world history and other scenes involving violence. It ends with a visual of a person relishing a succulent piece of meat; cautiously driving home the question if “killings” in any scenario is justified.
Treat yourself to an insane experience of theatre at Prithvi on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week.