Shades of Grey
Written by Mitali Dhar
I believe apartheid is not over yet. The year may be 2019 but my friends teaching in South Africa tell me that segregation still continues. Those who got money are white, whether they are black-skinned or white-skinned, and those who have not got any money are blacks and they are poor. Worldwide, negotiating with ideas, we have not managed to go beyond devised binaries. In India, we have the Brahmin and Dalit issues, and the Hindu and Muslim issues, among others,” says theatre director Hartman De Souza of The Space Theatre Ensemble from Goa.
To make a point that the world is divided, he brought the play The Island to Pune and staged it at Raah – A Literacy and Cultural Centre on November 2. The plot is inspired by a true story during the time of apartheid in South Africa.
At the centre of The Island is a notorious prison in South Africa, where John and Winston are political detainees and cellmates. One has recently appealed against his sentence and is soon to be released, the other is going to stay in prison for the foreseeable future at least. After irrationally overwhelming days labouring beneath the sun, they return to their dim cell. The men are part of a theatre programme in the jail and are to perform Sophocles’ play Antigone for other prisoners.
Winston takes the portion of youthful Antigone, who resists the laws of the state for the purpose of her soul. John takes the portion of Creon, the lord, who is so frantic to hold onto control that he will pulverise any contradict. Practices within the cramped cell test their fellowship and strain their versatility in this holding, striking representation of apartheid-era battle. This advanced classic by Tony Award-winners Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona celebrates trust, energy and the quality of fellowship.
Courtesy : The Indian Express