Natrang's Theatre Festival
Jammu, April 29: On the second day of the ongoing 11th Natrang Theatre Festival in connection with the celebrations of Natrang’s 35 glorious years, Natrang presented a new play ‘Bishop’s Candlesticks’ written by Norman Mckinnel and directed by Neeraj Kant, at Natrang Studio Theatre Jammu. The play dramatically depicts how the love and the compassion of the Bishop brought about a change of heart in a convict and turned him into a man of promise for a good life.
Natrang is organising a Theatre Festival of four plays every month since the last eleven months in commemoration with the celebrations of 35 eventful years of Natrang. In his welcome address, Natrang Director Balwant Thakur informed that Natrang has already created a record in the country by showcasing 40 major different plays by the same group in a period of eleven months. He complimented all actors, directors and technicians of Natrang associated with the holding of such historic Natrang Theatre Festivals. Natrang has not only provided the audience with a chance to witness the different plays of highly social & artistic relevance but also has added to their creative and intellectual repository by staging the literary works of the most celebrated writers of the world.
The plot of the play revolves around a story that brings forth the themes of Religious virtues like love and redemption. The Bishop was a kind-hearted man who is a true Christian was also an ardent humanist. Even after selling all, he had, for others, he felt sorry that he could do so little whereas the world had so much suffering. He sold his saltcellars and gave the money to Mere Gringoire so that the latter might pay his rent to the bailiff. His sister, Persome was, however, a worldly woman, neither as self-less as her brother nor so noble. She did not like her brother to live for others and not for himself. She thought that people took unfair advantage of his charitable nature. One night when the Bishop was about to go to bed, a convict entered the house. At the point of his knife, he demanded food from the Bishop. He called Persome and asked her to give some supper to the convict. The convict wondered why the Bishop kept his doors and windows open and whether or not he was afraid of thieves and robbers. The Bishop told them that he was not afraid but that he was sorry for them, as they were only poor sufferers. He treated the convict with all love and respect as he regarded him too as a sufferer. The convict told the Bishop how he was caught by the police while he stole some food for his ill and starving wife. The authorities did not pay any heed to the fact that he had stolen only to feed his ill and starving wife, Jeanette. They regarded him as a born criminal and treated him like a beast for ten years. Then one day he escaped but the society treated him no better. The kind Bishop was touched and gave him a bed to sleep on. The Bishop went to sleep. Left alone on his bed, the convict could not resist the temptation to steal the silver candlesticks of the Bishop. He took them and went out of the house. As he went out, the door slammed. The person got up at the sound and found out that the convict had stolen the silver candlesticks and had gone away. Persome reacted violently. She shouted and was very upset. The Bishop was sorry to lose the candlesticks as they were given to him by his mother. But the convict was arrested by the gendarmes along with the candlesticks The sergeant saw the convict moving stealthily and arrested him. They recognized the candlesticks of the Bishop and brought him back to him. But the Bishop told that the accused was his friend and that he himself had given the candlesticks to him. The police sergeant released the convict and went away. The kind Bishop told him of the secret road to Paris and gave him the candlesticks. The candlesticks were a dying gift from the Bishop’s mother. They reminded him of her. But when the convict received them as a gift, they become symbols of hope and life.
The artists who performed in the play included Manoj Kumar Lalotra, Aarti Devi, Simran Singh, Adil Khan, Bhrigu Sharma and Manavdeep Singh.
The lights of the play were designed and executed by Neeraj Kant and the music was scored by Sushant Singh Charak.
The presentations were done by Vrinda Sharma and the show was coordinated by Mohd. Yaseen. On the third day of Natrang Theatre Festival i.e, 29th April 2019, Sadat Hasan Manto’s play ‘Karwat’ will be showcased under the direction of Neeraj Kant at 5 pm at Natrang Studio Theatre, Jammu.