Every year theatre enthusiasts eagerly wait for Studio 7 presentation. This year their patient wait got over on May 9 as Studio 7’s theatre performance Reineke The Fox was staged at Hotel Vajra. The play forms a part of 50 years Nepal-German diplomatic relations celebrations.
Reineke The Fox is a drama adaptation of the epic poem Reineke Fuchs by the renowned Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The first thing that always impresses you in a play by Studio 7 is the artistic and creative sets and the colourful and well defined costumes.
The play begins with Royal Spring Festivities where all the Leaders of the Stage have gathered and accuse Reineke The Fox of being a thief and murderer. The king sends Brown the Bear to bring him to court, but it is Brown who finds himself in trouble. Next it is the turn of Chameur The Cat, who also falls prey to Reineke’s shrewdness.
But that’s not all, to make matters worse he has a romantic flick with Giermund, the wife of his biggest opponent Isegrim, the Wolf. Finally, it is Grimbeard, an old ally who convinces Reineke to appear in court in front of Nobel the Lion and his envoys. But the story does not end here as Reineke surreptitiously creates new stories that lure all into traps while he escapes and there are other escapades that follow.
“This a play about royalty, revolutionaries and the common man who wishes to be elevated to a higher level. It is a story on how the stupidity and greed of most people are used by clever foxes in society for their own advantage,” said Sabine Lehmann, director of the play. “This is a timeless story, though it was written after the French Revolution by Goethe. You see the same happenings in political systems even today; people still reach the top in the same way,” she added.
Salil Kanika Subedi, who plays the protagonist, explained his character saying, “This is what men are all about. It is an artistic reflection of society. ‘Fox characters’ are all around playing with other people’s weaknesses and guilt. It tries to show the negative aspects prevalent in society which no one speaks about.”
Describing the poetic language used in the play which has a rhyming scheme to it, Lehmann said, “The play was written in hexameters by Goethe and with the driving rhythm, it has was difficult to translate into English, but the artistes did bring it out very well. At times it is fast, and short sentences carry bigger meanings. As it is on a higher emotional level it puts the play on a different sphere.”
On the use of animals as characters, Lehman explained, “With animals there are more possibilities so these characters were used.”
And the artistes sure brought out the best in their characters. The acting skills displayed by most of the actors delving into their characters brought life to the play. Be it their facial expressions, dialogue delivery, body language, it was an enthralling performance.
The characters help you see the gluttony in society, wrong doings by people in power, and by those veiled in the name of religion and many other hidden aspects of society.
Truth turns ironical in the play. “The world is a paradox, people do not dare to neglect the victorious as everyone has to survive and wants a piece of the cake,” said Lehmann.
The play is on till May 25 and will be staged every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7.15 pm. For reservations 4271545.