KATHMANDU: Diverse stories yet a single theme, staged magnificently by talented actors with a feel of subtle humour make Oh! Star Duniya a fine play to watch.
Directed and designed by Anup Baral, the play based on Indian playwright Neel Chaudhary’s Taramandal, promises some skillful performances with an interesting story, but you have to forget its length.
Translated into Nepali by Saayad Ashok and Suyesh Pradhan, and presented by Actors’ Studio, Oh! Star Duniya that is being staged at Sarwanam Theatre, Kalikasthan, from October 5, unravels the stories of actors, who struggle to come to the limelight. The play opens with hopes of Padam (Rajkumar Pudasaini), who is offered a chance to appear in a film at the age of 50. Padam who used to be a theatre artiste prepares for his role excitedly unaware of the bitterness waiting him ahead. And with Padam’s story, other sub-plots move parallelly ahead — all of them showcase aspiring actors’ dream of stardom but ultimately failing to do so.
For schoolboy Madhav (Jeevan Adhikari), it is not being able to make it through auditions to be a part of Nepathya’s music in school. The doctor (Sudan Chhatkuli) delivering a monologue clearly depicts how he gave up his dreams of working as an actor in theatre. Watching the conversations between wannabe actress Lavnya (Shanti Giri) and agent Viky (Dev Neupane), you will guess the true picture of filmdom.
The play has tragic a story to tell, still the tone is not bitter and it is then that you feel the presence of humour.
In this amalgamation of diverse stories, Padam’s character is portrayed flawlessly and power performer Pudasaini has put life into him. Be it his starry gaze or his excitement at getting a role or the calmness he maintains after knowing his part in the movie is just to say, ‘Oh’, Pudasaini does not disappoint you at all.
While other actors play at least two, three, often four characters, for instance Ruru, appears as Naresh — assistant to movie director; reporter; father and he is also in the chorus. Without changing his costume in two different roles, he has been able to get into each character that he performs. Neupane as the movie agent and Chhatkuli as doctor are other characters who won’t fail to draw your attention with their witty and humorous
The stage setting is minimal with a few portable boxes. The play seems to borrow elements of shadow play, the shadow of characters are cast a few times on a white curtain in the centre of the stage. Costumes, once again are simple yet fit the theme of the play.
But one part the play lags in is its length — the nearly two-hour long play is too long. Some parts of the plot could have been cut short or even deleted so that the audience won’t sit restless in their seats hoping for the scenes to move ahead much faster.
However, the use of masks by the chorus, Padam initially wrapped in white cloth, all seem artistic.
The play is being staged everyday at 5:00 pm till October 15.