A Gabriel Garcia Marquez novella is adapted for India
PUBLISHED in 1981, Chronicle of a Death Foretold traces the murder of protagonist, Santiago Nasar by brothers Pedro and Pablo, for allegedly ‘violating’ the honour of their sister Angela. And the whole village is in on it. While staying true to the Marquez original, a stage adaptation (of the same name) by Delhi-based troupe, Improper Fractions, is distinctive as it’s performed by a cast of one.
In 2012, director and sole performer Manjari Kaul was part of a cast which worked on an adaptation of the book, translating it to an Indian context. “Last year the Instituto Cervantes (an organisation which teaches and promotes Spanish language and culture) asked me to work on the story again for their Gabriel Garcia Marquez festival, and this time I decided to approach it differently,” she says, adding, “I realised that I didn’t have to move the setting to an Indian village for the story to resonate, as there are so many parallels in terms of gender and class issues. I also wanted to focus more on the idea of storytelling, which is how the solo show evolved.”
Retaining the Colombian setting, and original names, Kaul’s version begins with the story’s narrator coming back to the village in which the murder happened. “I begin by talking about storytelling, and then we go into this particular story, and I take on the roles of all the major characters,” says Kaul, explaining that this allowed her to play with concepts like the meaning of truth, and the role of memory and emotion in creating perspective. “You see that the villagers suffer from the collective guilt of not having done anything, and they are trying to justify it. What I’ve tried to show are the multiple truths relating to the same incident,” she says.
June 7, 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm. At JP Nagar. Tickets (`100) on bookmyshow.com
— Maegan Dobson Sippy