Staged in the city for the first time, Kultar’s Mime has moved audiences from rural Amritsar to the UK Houses of Parliament since it debuted in Boston, USA in 2013. A play that unites music, poetry and art, its message is one of hope in the face of violence.
Bridging the gap
Unusual both in its subject matter and staging, the play is based around two poems. The first, also called Kultar’s Mime, was written by social activist Sarbpreet Singh in response to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. The second, In The City of Slaughter, was penned at the turn of the twentieth century, a lament against the massacre of Jews in the Russian city of Kishinev. Adapted into a stage piece by US-based theatre director Mehr Kaur, their ‘coming together’ helped demonstrate “that in the end, all innocent victims are the same, as their pain unites them,” explains Singh.
Touching the senses
In adapting the poems, Kaur used ‘a play within a play’ format, imaging a group of New York artists, who decide to commemorate the Kishinev massacre by creating paintings inspired by survivors of the Delhi riots. “The all-American cast makes the point that just as violence transcends culture, religion and geography, so can compassion,” elaborates Singh. Art and music play pivotal roles, with specially commissioned paintings forming the backdrop, and traditional Sikh sacred music setting the scene. Singh’s main hope is to reach out to more people on this five-city tour of India. “While this is a difficult play to watch, the overwhelming response so far has been an expression of gratitude,” he says.
March 18, 8 pm at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield. Tickets
(`300) on jagriti