Celebrating Ibsen in Nepal


The month of May saw Norwegian and Nepali musicians performing together in honour Norway’s most famous playwright Henrik Ibsen. The year 2006 is the death centennial of Ibsen and theatre enthusiasts the world over have been marking it as the Ibsen year. Nepal will be honouring Ibsen with a 11-day Ibsen festival being organised by Arohan Theatre Group and Gurukul School of Theatre from November 1 in association with BP Koirala Nepal-India Foundation, Lun Karan Das Academy of Art and Literature, Norwegian embassy, MS Nepal and Wai Wai.

The festival will see performances from many theatre groups from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Norway. Says Yubaraj Ghimire, Gurukul’s saathi, “As so many theatre groups from South Asia and Norway will be participating, it will definitely give the audience something different, and Nepali artistes will get to meet and interact wi-th those from other places and learn from them.”

Each performance will be followed by an interaction between the artistes, press and the audience. There will be a seminar, classical musical performance by Sukarma, publications, and a painting exhibition all relating to Ibsen.

The exhibition is based on the performances of two plays — Fire in the Monastery and A Doll’s House and showcases impressions by Painters like Shahi Shah, Uttam Nepali, Kiran Manandhar, Uttam kharel, Mukesh Malla, Sharadaman Shrestha, Buddi Thapa and Shova Wagle.

“We will be releasing Sunil Pokharel’s translation of A Doll’s House and translations of famous writers’ works on Ibsen in English titled Ibsen beyond time and space and also in Nepali. Works of writers like Shasi Ahmed (Bangladesh), Mitsuya Mory (Japan), Kirti Jain (India), Asbjorn Arsetch (Norway) among others are included in the compilation,” says Ghimire.

The one-day seminar on Ibsen will see presentations by different people like Abhi Subedi, Utpal K Banerjee, Sangeeta Raimajhi, and will dwell on the theme ‘Ibsen’s influence on social change in South Asia’.

Among the plays being staged at the festival is Khushiko Mrityu (directed by Birendra Hamal), a play based on Ibsen’s three poems — The Tears, Amid the Ruins and Dance of Death

“because they are symbolic in themselves and reflects contemporary Nepal in a way”.

Festival dates

Nov 1: Mahan Shilpi (The Master Builder) in Nepali by Aarohan Theatre, Nepal

Nov 2: Jan-Shatru (An Enemy of the People) in Hindi by Shailnat, India

Nov 3: Deshdrohi (An Enemy of the People) in Bengali by Ritwik, India

Nov 4: Pretocchaya (The Ghosts) in Bengali by Natyabhumi, India

Nov 5: The Story of Wild Duck — solo performance in Norwegian by Ingunn Oyen

Nov 6: Khushiko Mrityu (The Death of Happiness) in Nepali by M Art Theatre, Nepal

Nov 7: Seminar on Ibsen from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; Putaliko Ghar (A Doll’s House) in Nepali by Aarohan Theatre, Nepal

Nov 8: Dushman (An enemy of the People) in Urdu by Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan

Nov 9: Inviting Ibsen for a dinner with Ibsen (A play on life and times of Ibsen) — a solo performance by Parnab Mumherjee in Bengali/English

Nov 10: A musical concert based on Ibsen’s plays by Sukarma, Nepal

Nov 11: Punarutthan (Resurrection) in Bengali/English by Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT), Bangladesh

(All plays/performances will be staged at 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm at Gurukul)