HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Is this play relevant to Nepal? was one question asked by Deborah Merola to the audience after the staging of the play Master Harold… and the boys. The play by South African playwright Athol Fugard is set in South Africa during the early years of apartheid and one may find it outdated.
But one of the audiences present at the student preview show of the play at Moksh, Jhamsikhel on May 30 answered, “Though we do not have racial discrimination in our country, I find this drama relevant in our context because the caste-based discrimination exists here.”
The audience that comprised of students and teachers from Rato Bangala School was not only relating the play with their context, but was also enjoying the powerful performance of the actors.
The play is a wonderful exploration of relationships across racial divide. It discovers the relationship between a young white boy, Hally (Alan Gurung) and two black waiters Sam (Rajkumar Pudasaini) and Willie (Aashant Sharma). Sam and Willie work at Hally’s mother’s tearoom. And they are bound together in co-dependency, while Sam and Hally are closer to each other. But Hally’s conflict with his family, leads to a clash between Sam and Hally. And he begins to hate these two black men.
The whole play is set in a tearoom with tables, chairs and restaurant counter as props.The set has been nicely staged and lighted.
The conversations that take place between these three men are funny, sometimes affectionate and others rife tension as well. Also, you will love to watch steps Sam and Willie practise in the tearoom for ballroom dance
It is Pudasaini who is the heart and soul of the play. He has given attention to minute details while delivering the role of a wise, caring and patient father figure to Hally. One can witness his dignity, compassion, sympathy and outrage, all delivered powerfully.
Sharma is deceptively sweet and often comical during his performance and has done justice to his role. On the other hand Gurung first as playful Hally, aggressive son and cruel Master Harold has done his part well. Probably because it was their first day of performance, the actors sometimes seemed to forget their dialogues. Nonetheless, one must say that director Merola has very well chosen the cast of this insightful production and has become able to bring the best performance out of them.
A production of One World Theatre the play will
be staged till June 3 at Moksh Live Jhamsikhel at 5:30 pm.