Iranian play ‘Jocasta’ faces criticism

The concept of ‘mother’ in the Iranian play `Jocasta’, staged at the International Theatre Festival faced criticism.

Published: 31st December 2008 12:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2012 05:28 PM   |  A+A-

THRISSUR: The concept of ‘mother’ in the Iranian drama `Jocasta’ , based on the Greek masterpiece ‘Oedipus’ and directed by Mohammad Aghebati, staged at the International Theatre Festival here on Monday faced severe criticism during a face to face programme with the Iranian troupe and the theatre experts and lovers held here on Tuesday morning.

In the original Greek masterpiece, Jocasta was marrying Oedipus without knowing that he is her abandoned son. But in his retelling of the same story, Mohammed Aghebati portrayed the relation between the duo passing through a thorny path of love, passion and guilt, knowing that they were mother and son.

It was this perverted presentation of mother that faced criticism from theatre experts and lovers at the programme.

It was pointed out that in India as well as other parts of the world, mother was considered as god in the earth and the presentation of mother by Aghebati was totally against this concept.

Answering the criticism, Aghebati pointed out that his play was throwing the questions: what is sin and what is taboo. He pointed out that what is presented in the play was a nightmare and not the reality. However, his arguments were disputed by points that when the imagination or nightmare was presented on the stage, for the viewers, it was no more an imagination but a reality.

Later presenting a paper on ‘tradition and modernity in Malayalam Theatre’, Vayala Vasudevan Pillai said that tradition in the theatre operates at two levels: the static and the dynamic. The traditional ‘motif ’ constantly interacts and strengthens modern theatre artists. Modernity is much more than sensibility or a contemporaneity.

The creative process of the dynamic in blending with the modern sensibility is unique.

When the process and practice of theatre becomes stagnant, retrogressive, lacking in power and energy, like the renaissance, the tradition comes to the rescue of artists enabling them to express themselves in stronger, more powerful and fuller terms.

In the evening the Bengali play written by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharyya `Duhsamay’ directed by Pratap Jaiswal was staged.

The nexus between fundamentalists of both the religion and the police pose a serious threat to the family and against this scenario the conflict between secularism, idealism and reality is explored in the drama.

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