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Produced By QTP
QTP is a theatre & arts management company that specializes in unique and engaging experiences for live audiences. For the last fifteen years, the company has been producing its own work as well as touring remarkable international plays from the US, UK, China, and Canada. Their productions include the critically acclaimed So Many Socks, the laugh riot The President is Coming, the long running Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace and the successful A Peasant of El Salvador. Through their adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s The God of Carnage, watch as their actors turn from well mannered mature adults to quarrelling children who throw fits and tantrums. Rest assured, The God of Carnage will leave you nothing short of entertained!
The original text is set in during the Holy War between the Catholics and Protestants in Europe. The story is about a woman, Mother Courage, who strives to exist in the turbulent times. She runs a ‘canteen’, a kind of mobile restaurant, where she feeds and caters to soldiers of either army, depending on whose territory she is in. Through the play, she loses each of her children. One is captured in the war, the other is executed for stealing and the third is shot because she tries to heroically warn the others. The play is in part humorous, tragic and even uplifting. There are songs, and even great ensemble sections.
Produced By QTPMore Info+
Directed By Quasar Thakore Padamsee
Written By Bertolt Brecht
Asif Ali Beg
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7th October 2017
Mother Courage and Her Children Welcome You To The Battlefield
As long as there have been people, there have been wars. And where there is war, there is always an entrepreneurial figure who will find a way to live off of it and that person happens to be Mother Courage.
Mother Courage and Her Children is a satire written by German playwright Bertolt Brecht about the absurdity of war. Brecht might have written it decades ago but there is now a fresh adaptation presented by QTP in association with Aditya Birla's theatre initiative Aadyam. Director Quasar Padamsee presents Mother Courage and Her Children through the lens of India while retaining the spirit of the original.
Set in the Indian subcontinent, there is a religious war waging between Fundamentalists and Extremists. In the midst of war, Mother Courage can be found with her signature carriage along with her three children – Alif, Swameed, and Kamrin. She is the one who manages to sell supplies and survive when everyone around is killed by the war through bullets or starvation. But even Mother Courage can't live without making sacrifices. She eventually has to make some hard decisions about what it is that she truly holds dear – her living by the side of her carriage that has been her trusted companion for over 17 years or her children.
The charismatic Arundhati Nag plays Mother Courage – a rare character that isn't exactly likable, yet makes you want to know more about her. Alif, played by Abhishek Krishnan, is a passionate young man who is always looking for a fight. Bhavna Pani gives a chilling performance as Kamrin, conveying volumes in her actions and haunting screams as she plays the mute daughter. Junaid Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, plays the role of Swameed, the third child of Mother Courage who is honest but naive. The rest of the cast also makes a strong impression in the glimpses that we see of them as various characters in the play.
A delightful play that is filled with lively dialogues, gut-wrenching sequences, and even a bit of music, Mother Courage and Her Children packs a punch. You'll leave the play thinking about its implications long after it is over.
The Daily Pao
7th October 2017
‘MOTHER COURAGE’ PLAY REVIEW:
QUASAR THAKORE PADAMSEE’S DRAMA IS AN DICTMENT OF RELIGIOUS DOGMA
Director: Quasar Thakore Padamsee
Writer: Bertolt Brecht
Cast: Abhishek Krishnan, Arundhati Nag, Asif Ali Beg, Aseem Hattangady, Bhavna Pani, Bhushan Vikas, Junaid Khan, Trupti Khamkar
The rise of the right in the country can be the only provocation for two Brecht plays being part of Aadyam’s current season of productions. Directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee, Mother Courage and Her Childrenopened this past weekend, and Imaad Shah’s The Threepenny Opera will be staged in November. In Thakore Padamsee’s version of Mother Courage, an intermittent religious war is underway between the Extremists and the Fundamentalists. (It’s no coincidence that the Fundamentalists wear saffron uniforms.) War means profit for Mother Courage (Arundhati Nag), a saleswoman who travels from place to place with a wagon full of goods drawn by her three children.
In war time, when things are scarce and prices are high, Courage drives a hard bargain for her goods. She’s wary of peace time, when the unrestricted movement of goods obviates the need for someone like her. Courage pays a price for her profiteering, losing her kids to the war. Alif (Abhishek Krishnan) and Swameed (Junaid Khan) enlist despite their mother’s protests and are later executed. Kamrin (Bhavna Pani), a mute girl, is shot while committing a heroic act.
It gives courage to see that the theatre community in the city, which has by and large been dormant when it comes to responding to current affairs, is finally reacting. Guards at the Taj is an indictment of autocracy. Mother Courage, written by Brecht at the peak of National Socialism, is critical of dogma, which never helped anyone, certainly not the poor who continue to suffer in war and peace. The only use of dogma, especially the religious variety, is that it lends a certain legitimacy to those in power. It’s a phenomenon that’s only too familiar as the Hindu right justifies all violence, like the lynching of minorities suspected of being in the business of beef. There are in fact several references to cows in Mother Courage. Alif is feted for purloining cattle to feed his hungry comrades while the war in on. During peace, he’s executed for doing the same thing.
Courage, whose preoccupation with survival makes her clear-sighted to the frailties of men, recognises that while people might have different faiths, they’re all opportunists. Like the holy man (Asif Ali Beg), an Extremist priest who hides his robes and joins Courage’s caravan as a helper when the Fundamentalists come to power. He even proposes they marry, perhaps in the hope that he will be elevated from his dishwashing position. But as soon as the reign of the Extremists returns, he leaves her side to preach.
The greatest reason to watch the play, however, is Arundhati Nag, who is stupendous. Wearing bedraggled layers, she looks like she’s just emerged from a swamp of used clothes. Like her, her caravan is a hulking assemblage of odds and ends. Nag moves fluidly from being a wily, hard-nosed businesswoman one minute to a soft-hearted, protective mother the next, begging her children not to join the war or admonishing Kamrin for stealing the prostitute Ibbani’s (Trupti Khamkar) slippers. Female affectations will only land Kamrin in trouble with the rapacious soldiers. Nag is amusing when she’s being heartless and heart-wrenching when she loses her children but gathers herself and carries on.
Mother Courage is timely yet one wishes Thakore Padamsee had picked a play with a more compelling story than Brecht’s pedagogical drama that was intended to educate the masses. When the ensemble cast gathers together to sing in choreographed formation, you get the feeling you’re watching a sophisticated street play. Still, it’s heartening to see that the city’s theatrewallahs are voicing protest in a medium that has always been used to resist unjust power.
7th September 2017
26th August 2017
Watched "Mother Courage & Her Children" yday evening at NCPA by "AADYAM". Thank you Varsha (Better Half) for managing to get me there on a lousy rainy day, we had to travel to the other side of Mumbai to watch what we saw... Well it was sheer magic on the stage being weaved by "Mother Courage" who mesmerised me with her presence that was only awesome, she held on to the stage as it it was her's and orchestrated the entire cast as if she was conducting an orchestra who benefitted from her timing, expressions & feelings of the character of a courageous mother who moves on, in a middle of a war which is within as well as around her.
Superlative performance & Kudos to "Ms. Arundhati Nag", for reliving & reinventing this character. The thespian brought to life "Mother Courage" In-Complete.
It's actually been a while that I was stuck to my seat and Varsha was not at all being bothered by my comments which happens to be my hallmark when I go out to watch performances.
No further comments as I rest my case. :) CHEERS TO LIFE.
7th September 2017
Although a little drawn out at the end, QTP's play is a brilliant portrayal of war and its effects on a small family with large hearts. The play follows Mother Courage and her children as they figure out their lives during war. Originally written in the 18th century by a theatre stalwart Bertolt Brecht, the play has been rewritten for 21st century sensibilities. Extremely well directed, the play features a mix of known and relatively unknown artists. However, make no mistake, they are all at the top of their game. Despite a serious theme, the play manages to intermittently inject humour, sarcasm and scathing comments on today's society. Primarily in English, the characters effortlessly lapse into several languages, lending it an unmatched universality.
I won't give away the plot, because that would be a gross injustice to their efforts. What I will tell you, however, is why you should watch the play and what you should look for. In a world of intolerance and political uncertainty, the play is a call to arms with subtle political criticism that everyone will be able to relate with. That and their catchy songs (which shall ring in your head long after the curtain falls) should alone be reason enough to catch the play, if you haven't already. Watch closely as several scenes take place on stage simultaneously, in true Brechtian fragmented form, each designed to capture your attention only at a specific moment – not before, not after. To commend the lead artistes for their brilliant captivating performances would be stating the obvious and would also take away from the rest of the ensemble cast, who despite their relatively smaller roles, are each significant to the plot and play their parts well.
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