Govind Ballal Deval’s Play: Mruchchakatik

Playwright: Govind Ballal Deval
Director: Ravindra Khare
Group: Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir, Pune
Language: Marathi
Duration: 3 hrs 10 mins

The Play
Originally, Mruchchakatika (The Little Clay Cart) is a ten-act Sanskrit drama written by Shudrak, an ancient playwright, sometime around the 2nd century. The play is set in the ancient city of Ujjayini during the reign of King Pālaka, The central story is that of a nobleman Charudatta, who falls in love with a wealthy courtesan Vasantasena. Despite their mutual affection the couple’s lives and love are threatened when a vulgar courtier, Samsthānaka, also known as Shakara, begins to aggressively pursue Vasantasena. We would like to mention that this Marathi play Mruchchakatik had been written by Govind Ballal Deval in 1887. The characters are drawn from the mundane world. It is peopled with gamblers, courtesans, thieves, and so on. Though Vasantasena is a courtesan, her exemplary attitude and dignified behaviour impress the audience. The nobility of the characters does not stem from their social conditioning but from the inner virtues and behaviour.

Director’s Note
The subject of Charudatta – Vasantsena from Shudrak’s Sanskrit play, although translated in Marathi but with the same name Mruchchakatik, is very attractive & appealing to the audience in general. Many traditional singing forms & ragas add to the popularity of this production. This musical is interestingly woven with traditional Kathak dance which is the highlight of the play. It also depicts the earlier traditions of Central India, sometime in 3rd century, and also the politics in that particular era, bearing similarity to the contemporary one.

The Director
Ravindra Khare is a well-known actor on Marathi stage & media. He has also composed a musical Nishabda Majgharat, which won prizes at state level and also in Marathi drama competition in Delhi. He is closely associated with Bharat Natya Mandir Group for more than 40 years now and is the Trustee of the institution. He has directed more than 15 Marathi musicals and lends his voice to many ad-films, and also acts in TV-serials by renowned directors. He has produced, directed & edited many plays for AIR Pune.

The Playwright
A well-known Marathi playwright, Late Shri Govind Ballal Deval (1855-1916), has written Durga, Sharada, Shapsambhram, Sanshayakallol, Zunzaarrao, Vikramorvashiya and many other plays. He composed the lyrics and music of many songs in Kirloskar’s play Shakuntal. Deval worked for a few years at Kirloskar Natak Mandali as a playwright, actor, and director. After his move to Pune in 1894, he founded Aryoddharak Natak Mandali; and also worked with Bal Gandharva’s newly established Gandharva Natak Mandali. He was the first drama guru of legendary Bal Gandharva.

The Group
Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir is known to be the oldest Marathi theatre education institution since its foundation in 1894 in Pune. It is producing, organising, performing dramas & conducting dance & music classes since then. The institution completed 125th year of its existence in October 2019. It has a well-stocked library with many rare manuscripts, old photographs, material related to drama and several rare drama scripts which have been written in the past 150 years.

Cast & Credits
Maitreya Ram Sathaye
Sanvahak Sanjay Dole
Sutradhar / Sharvilak Sanjeev Mehendale
Veet Rajan Kulkarni
Karnapurak / Nyayadhish Abhay Jabde
Rajshalak Shakaar Anand Panse
Shodhanak Vishwas Pangarkar
Radanika Aparna Pendase
Madanika Kavita Tikekar
Dancers Maitreyi Nirgun, Radhika Bhinge, Bhagyashree Kulkarni,
Revati Sant, Samrudhdhi Pujari
Vasantsena Gauri Patil
Charudatta Charudatta Aphale

Music Accompaniment Rahul Gole (Organ)
Omkar Deodhar (Tabla)
Lights Shubham Kute
Sound Jayadeep Nemade
Drapery Rakesh Gholap
Make-up Madhav Thatte
Back Stage Viththal Hulawale, Abhijeet Gaikwad, Jitendra Sutar
Team Manager Vijay Kumar Potdar

Playwright G. B. Deval
Director Ravindra Khare

Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir
1320, Sadahshiv Peth, Pune- 411030
Ph: 020-24471614, 24481614
M: +91 9422303676, 9822026425
E: bharatnatyamandir@gmail.com