Sunday, February 05, 2006

Court Martial

Date : February 4th, 2006
Directors : Anushri Rathi & Vineet Kumar
Production Managers : Pratik Naphade & Neharika Prabhat
Playwright : Swadesh Deepak
Form : Stage Play
Type : Semester Production

Cast :
Col. Surat Singh : Chanakya Bhardwaj
Sainik 1 : Ashwini Chakre
Sainik 2 : Umang Gupta
Capt. B.D. Kapoor : Mukul Malhotra
Dr. Capt. Gupta : Rajesh Agrawal
Lt. Col. Brijendra Raawat : Sudipt Agarwal
Subedar Balwaan Singh : Prabhat Ranjan Singh
Major Ajay Puri : Pratyush Singh
Capt. Bikash Roy : Abhinav Kimothi
Ramchandar : Ishan Shukla
Guard : Akash Agarwal
Judge 1 : Nikeeta Bhise
Judge 2 : Abhishek Sinha
Salaahkar Judge : Rachana Reddy
Judge 3 : Ritesh Agarwal
Judge 4 : Sankalp Kathuria
Chehra 1 : Sharad Varma
Chehra 2 : Ajeytaa Agarwal
Chehra 3 : Suraj Kumar
Chehra 4 : Vivek Tiwari

The Play :
Court Martial was not new to us. We had read it, we had heard about it, we had known how difficult it is to manage to stage this play. We had, in fact been counting the number of guys in the club every sem; waiting for the time when there’ll be enough of us to fit the cast size. And the challenge of each and every character.

Come January, 2006. We finally took up the challenge. Again. After 8 long years.

Practices began within the first week of the semester, and half way into January, we were already blocking for the first time. The first issue that faced us was the stage setup. There was the conventional view which supported the symmetrical judges at the back – Surat Singh in the middle – the witness box near the lights booth pattern. The alternative view courted the court to be slightly oblique: judges on one side et al. After much conjecture and a lively c’not session, the former was chosen.

The sessions went rather smoothly. There wasn’t much blocking to be had per se, and most actors were on track pretty early. Now it’ll be really dangerous to start talking about every actor. Somebody will get missed out and all hell shall break loose. :) This was one play where it was difficult for the diros to find reasons to scold the cast. In terms of theatre exercises, quite a few new ideas were brought out. Giving time to the performers for stage oriented games was one of the experiments we tried out. Another significant activity during this time was the introduction of the Monologue. Several capturing acts were witnessed while going through this ..well.. game..

A brief look at the plot now. Col Surat Singh is the presiding officer of the Court Martial, where Ramchandar ( a sawaar in the Army ) has been accused of killing one Capt Verma and attempting to kill Capt Kapoor, officers in the same regiment as his, while he was on guard duty. The prosecution is represented by Maj Puri while Capt Bikash Roy has been appointed as the defending attorney. Ramchandar appears to be doomed in the beginning, but Capt Roy gradually unfolds the case to the audience and the court room through his nifty tactics. As it turns out after Subedar Balwaan Singh, Dr. Gupta and Lt. Col. Rawat’s statements, Ramchandar had been a victim of casteist and racial treatment meted out to him by Capt. Kapoor . Unable to take the brunt anymore, Ramchandar lashed out in his own way. Capt Kapoor’s hypocritical and cruel nature is also revealed( He had assaulted his wife in the past ). Ramchandar is given the death sentence in a chilling climax. Sympathy tilts in his favor, and, being unable to face repeated insults, the high headed Kapoor commits suicide.

Most roles were characterized by a great amount of intensity required. And need I say, it all came out beautifully. Nay, powerfully!

Creating the witness box was a back-breaking task, and the production team moved heaven and hell to ensure their “katghara” was a striking presence on the Audi stage. Also remarkable were the costumes. Most officers wore real Army uniforms, bought specifically for this play. And a first. I believe this was the first play ever to have sponsored objects on the stage! Seven Aquafina bottles on the stage!

To conclude, here are a few memorable dialogues from the play:
  • Maine, Colonel Surat Singh ne pakda uss angaare ko ek baar. Keval ek baar…”
  • “Subedaar saahab sach keval utna nahi hota jitna dikhai de.. “
  • “jo aapne suna nahi isska matlab kaha bhi nahi gaya..”
  • “kab le liya faisla iss court ne ki har haalat mein chadhana hai Ramchandar ko phaansi pe?”
  • “Sit down captain! Who the hell made you the prosecutor!”
  • “Yes. He is the hunter of the soul.”
  • Maine uss raat ‘THAM! KAUN HAI!’ ki lalkaar nahi lagayi thhi sir.Bina challenge kiye hi goli chala di thhi.”
  • “Aur cheete ka kabhi koi dost nahi hota..”
  • “Don’t be mistaken that you can trap me. I am not Subedaar Balvaan Singh.”
  • “Now.. Iam finished.. Dr Gupta..”
  • “yeh fun kya hota hai Capt. Kapoor?”
  • “Kuchh nahi jaante aap! Aashchary!”
  • “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
  • “Hona kya thha ! Parade ho rahi thhi.”
  • “Baith jaao Saahab!”
  • “Praano ka khatra hone par toh guy bhhi seeng maarti hai”
  • “TATTI! Ramchandar ne saahab ki bachchi ki tatti uthaane se inkaar kar diya.”
  • “Mujhe aapse aur kuchh nahi poochhna.”
  • “Mujhe daud mein hara ke who superman toh nahi ban gaya!”
  • “Gandi gaali di thhi sir.”
  • “Har haalat mein dund milna chaahiye. Mrityu dund. Baar baar mrityu dund.”
  • “Aap jo denge.. sar aaNkhoN pe sir."
The Gallery :











The Brochure: