BENGALURU: Vikram Aur Betaal, the name strikes a nostalgic chord for those who grew up watching Doordarshan. In this story, ghost Betaal poses riddles that king Vikram has to solve on love, life, friendship, values and morale. Using the neutral element that the story holds, Vikram Aur Betal-Retold has been scripted in the modern context to make it more relevant for the present day audience.
Directed by Spatica Ramanujam of Mukhamugam Productions, it brings together actors from ‘The Peepal’, an NGO working for senior adults and ‘Samridhi Trust’, an NGO working for the education of underprivileged children. The endeavour of the play is not only to create a renewed appreciation of the traditional folklore but also to create space for dialogue between senior citizens and underprivileged children.
Producer of the play, Bhaswati Ramanujam, who also works for The Peepal, says, “The idea of the play came about after we hosted a storytelling session where three senior citizens opted to tell stories to the children. We realised this is a skill set we are not tapping into, and hence we chose a story for the play which is age-neutral.”
The other reason for choosing Vikram Aur Betal, was that it narrates stories that highlight two different psyches, of two different age groups. “We decided that the stories should not be presented as it is, instead, using the plot of Vikram Aur Betal, we are telling the stories of children and senior citizens, highlighting the influx points of their lives,” says Bhaswati, further adding, “The point of the play primarily is to prove to the audience the fact that we have chosen two generations that are neglected by society. That they have a lot to give than people can receive from them. I hope people get that message.”
Talking about the selection process of actors for the play, Bhaswati says that the age group of the children ranges from 9 to 19 years, and it was tough to choose 10 actors from the 25 children, who volunteered to be part of the play. “These children are really talented, the level of confidence they exuded was overwhelming. They have the humility and tenacity that helps them learn new things,” she adds.
The funds that will be generated from the play will be used in supporting the education of the ten children who will be acting in the play. Vikram Aur Betal-Retold, will be staged at Alliance Francaise on October 12 and 13 at 3pm and 7pm.Tickets: bookmyshow.com