Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
A 10-day theatre festival showcasing some of the most renowned stage artistes and exponents will mesmerise Lucknow from Thursday.
The fest organised by Darpan Theatre Group, which was established in 1961, will exhibit 10 different plays consecutively during May 18-27.
To mark its diamond jubilee, ‘Darpan Hirak Jayanti: Rashtriya Natya Samaroh’ has lined up a kaleidoscope of dramas featuring veteran artistes, playwrights and directors, Darpan general secretary Anil Rastogi told the media here this evening.
The festival will be inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak. The event is supported by the UP culture department as well as the Bhartendu Natya Academy.
The inaugural play to be staged on May 18 is titled ‘Swaha’ directed by ace Shubhdeep Raha.
Other popular stage personalities to participate in the fest include Anup Soni, Juhi Babbar Soni, Atul Satya Kaushik, Usha Ganguly and Ram Gopal Bajaj.
Event coordinator and industry captain Mukesh Singh said the fest aims at introducing Lucknow to some of the finest plays and actors, and to promote the theatre art form. Darpan has till date staged about 2,000 plays across the country.
Meanwhile, a panorama of about 200 still photographs narrating the 60-year eventful journey of Darpan will also be organised in the form of an exhibition.
Rastogi said Darpan was established by Prof Satyamurti to provide a vibrant form to theatre actors and connoisseurs. In subsequent years, regional chapters were also launched in Delhi, Allahabad (Prayagraj), Bhopal, Sitapur, Bareilly and Gorakhpur.
“Frankly, it is quite challenging to sustain theatre due to the lack of proper financial support. Yet, Darpan has successfully charted its journey since it has the backing of generous donors and patrons of art,” he noted.
Of late, a string of plays have been staged in Lucknow by different groups and culture bodies. It seems that the local theatre circuit is gaining traction and gaining momentum due to the growing appreciation of the art.
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However, most of the plays still offer free entry, but people are now showing willingness to pay for tickets to watch good drama.