Nabamita (1537242) : Theatre and its Language : In Search of Form

Bhatia, Nandi, ed. Modern Indian Theatre: A Reader. Delhi: OUP, 2009. 462-468. Print.

“In Search of Form”. Dutt begins by stating his belief that “Theatre must speak its own language and the idioms of its language are its lights, its sets, its music” (462). His belief in the optimal and logical use of theatrical devices can be compared to Mahesh Dattani’s use of the same as said in the article “Contemporary Indian Theatre and its Relevance”.

Dutt cites an example of the reaction of the conservative section of the critics expressed towards the play “Coal” where the theatre troupe made use of an amalgamation of the stage-crafts so as to appeal to both the visual and aural sense of the audience. The lamentation of the so-called progressives over the death of the form of theatre drowned that of the reactionaries regarding the content.

Dutt also analyses and examines the reason of his failure which was rooted in his attainment of a rational contention of the struggles made by his proletariat figures. Though his scenes meted out theatrical thrills and revelations, it failed to explore the representation of the conflicts in the characters. He realised the importance of content being integral to the play from Voltaire’s statement that “all forms are good, except the boring ones” (466).

He drew the inference that, since the content is the predominant element of his plays, the form used can be that of Yatra, mainly because of its formlessness. He also admits to have shifted his focus to the merging of the contradictions in a character, the gap between what they longed to do and what they were actually doing.

The author believes in the creation and re-creation of myths and hopes to attain “the finiteness of each of my characters and the infinity of a re-created Myth” (467).


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