Gyandev Agnihotri's classic play about a king obsessed with building an ostrich from gold finds relevance in today's socio-political scenario, believes director Ramesh Talwar
Playwright Gyandev Agnihotri wrote the play Shuturmurgh way back in the '60s when the country had started to grow out of the shadows of colonialism. Little has changed since then, even as we celebrate 60 years of existence as a republic. The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) lives up to its image as a social theatre group with its latest production, Aaall Izz Well With Shuturmurgh, which depicts the contemporary socio-political situation on stage, albeit in a lighter vein.
The play revolves around a king who is obsessed with building a statue of a Shuturmurgh (ostrich) in gold so that it brings him more prosperity, while the citizens of his kingdom continue to live in dire conditions. The king is least interested in governing his subjects and leaves such "mundane" work to his ministers. The king's obsession with the statue continues until his encounter with the common man.
The title of the play is also a metaphor for a person who refuses to face reality just like an ostrich who buries its head in the sand at the first sign of adversity. "We are in the same situation as the subjects of the king.
Our politicians are more interested in building statues whether it is a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in UP or Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra, than actually taking concrete steps to eliminate poverty and ensure a decent standard of living for all," says director and senior member of IPTA, Ramesh Talwar.
Explaining the change in the title of the play from Shuturmurgh to Aaall Izz Well With Shuturmurgh, Talwar says, "Lately, there is an impression that IPTA works on dull scripts. This play is an attempt to prove that IPTA rukhe natak nahi kar raha hai. My play is as entertaining as the movie 3 Idiots."
The veteran theatre personality adds that just like the Aamir Khan-starrer, his play too deals with a serious subject but in a lighter vein, so that more people can relate to the subject.
On: Tonight, 9 pm, March 5 to 7, 6 pm and 9 pm at Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Vile Parle (W).