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The Thief Returns!

The Thief Returns!

Charandas Chor, (Charandas the Thief) - the delightful, entertaining and powerful Indian play in English, launched in October 2005 is back on popular demand.

Two shows will be presented to the New Zealand audience on July 21 at 8.00 pm and July 23 at 5.00 pm at The Auckland Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, Epsom. Tickets are available at Ticketek. $ 15 for adults and $ 12 for students, senior citizens and group bookings.

Patrons of the theatre world will once again be taken on a ninety minute journey of good versus bad against a backdrop of rural India. The play has an honest thief, a dishonest cop, a smitten queen, a corrupt minister, a greedy landlord, some beautiful village dancers, and outstanding Indian music.

Amit Ohdedar, president of Prayas and director of Charandas Chor said," We are very enthused about a re-run after the fantastic response from our New Zealand audience. The cast will have a couple of minor changes. The passion of the team remains unchanged".

Charandas Chor received a very favourable response last year when it made its debut at the Auckland Centennial Theatre. It was the first production launched by Prayas, a non-profit organisation formed by Indians in Auckland. It endeavours to engage the community in quality cultural initiatives, such as theatre.

Charandas Chor is an Indian classic by noted playwright Habib Tanvir. It has been performed very successfully in India and won a top award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tanvir is known for bridging the Indian classical and the folk theatre traditions with Brechtian or other modern western techniques. The content however is contemporary and relevant to all.

It is a play based on a folk tale that stands on a world turned upside down. It is about a thief who is deified by the people for his ‘honesty’. Charandas the ‘chor’ (thief) lives by duping, robbing and dodging the law. Despite this he is a man of principles, kind hearted and with a strong sense of social justice – a man of his word. Through Charandas’ exploits and tribulations, the play reveals the travesty in established institutions like religion, the state and class hierarchies.

The play employs the principle of ‘multiple consciousness’ as in Shakespearean drama or ‘complex seeing’ as in Brecht’s plays. The mood of the play is celebratory rather than ironic - a celebration of the people and their desire for truth and justice.

As Charandas Chor gets ready for its second run, Prayas is already looking at another play, an entirely different style of theatre to bring to the New Zealand audience next year. This time, the stage will be set for a contemporary play ‘The Terrace’ by Madhu Rai– a fast paced expose and exploration of human emotions…the passion and angst woven in a story of forbidden relationships.



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