Abhishek Majumdar’s play Desdemona Rupakam is a mix of Shakespeare, feminism and traditional art


The play, featuring musicians MD Pallavi and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, will be staged in Ranga Shankara on April 10 and 11

Desdemona Rupakam, directed by playwright Abhishek Majumdar, is a concert theatre piece that examines feminist narratives within Shakespeare’s Othello and traditional Indian mythologies.

The play, which will be staged in Ranga Shankara on April 10 and 11, looks at a scenario in Desdemona’s (Othello’s wife) life if she had made her choices and voiced her views on what is happening around her. It questions the absence of female voices that could have provided a deeper insight of Desdemona’s life.

Performed by musicians MD Pallavi and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, the play has Hindustani , Carnatic and folk music. Pallavi and Bindhumalini also wrote the play with Abhishek, Veena Appiah and Irawati Karnik. The play also comprises Tishani Doshi’s poetry. Live sound artist Nikhil Nagaraj has helmed the sound design of this play which will have a lot of music.

The play, produced by Nalanda Arts Studio, uses multiple traditional art forms such as Yakshagana, Hari katha, Yellama Nataka and contemporary forms to narrate the story.

According to Pallavi, the play is not exactly a reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s work; it is rather an examination. “We are trying to explore and question the fates of Desdemona and other female characters in Indian mythology like Shakuntala, Renuka, and Kaikeyi,” she says.

The play will be staged at Ranga Shankara on April 10 (3.30 pm and 7.30 pm) and 11 (3.30pm and 7.30pm). Tickets on bookmyshow.com

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