Mannu Bhandari’s Play: Mahabhoj

Playwright: Mannu Bhandari
Translator: Viplob Pratik
Director: Anup Baral
Group: Mandala Theatre, Nepal
Language: Nepali
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
Mannu Bhandari tells a story of how politics, press and police are connected with each other, and how the vulnerable voiceless people are caged in a ‘chakravyuha’. She has scripted this play from her popular novel Mahabhoj. The news of a death in the village and violent activities happening around, spread to the city, influencing the media and setting fire in the centre of politics and police force. Will that fire calm down or become a burning coal of questions?

Director’s Note
The picture of social and political conflicts experienced by the society should be reflected on the canvas of theatre in a lively way. This is my trust, and that trust has stimulated me to choose Mahabhoj. Politics is one of the finest practices in governance. But, if it is guided by corrupt thoughts, its nexus leads the society towards a weak state. Mahabhoj is the mirror of that corrupt nexus.
This is my ensemble with three generations of artists which I believe has created a new dynamics. I have tried to explore the painting techniques of renaissance period in this play. Chiaroscuro and Sfumato have been used in light design. I wanted to retell the story of Mahabhoj as if we are seeing contemporary events in a historical time frame. Almost monochromatic costumes, sets and props used in the play are a conscious choice.

The Director
Anup Baral is a renowned theatre director, actor and concept artist from Nepal. He has a master’s degree in acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India. During his two decade long journey, he has directed and conceptualized more than three dozen plays and performed as an actor too. His strong presence in Nepali theatre has been a source of inspiration for theatre lovers, theatre activists and practitioners.

The Playwright
Mannu Bhandari is an Indian author, known for her Hindi novels, Aapka Bunty and Mahabhoj. Bhandari’s works reflect the changing moods of the society, as they shape her writing and subject matter. Modernism, prevailing social issues and transformations, contemporary social situations, daily struggles of an individual have all played a part in impacting and influencing Bhandari’s works.

The Group
Mandala Theatre, Nepal is a group committed to develop and practice a creative style that is strongly based on Nepali theatre and culture, as well as deeply rooted in its desire to be a strong and aesthetic voice for social justice, political awareness and human rights. It owns a theatre centre in Anamnagar, Kathmandu where regular theatre shows are staged.

Cast & Credit
Atal Singh                                 Dayahang Rai / Buddhi Tamang
Ramesh Bikram                        Ramesh Budhathoki
Bisu                                           Rajan Khatiwada
Rita Chamling                            Sirjana Subba
Rishikesh                                   Viplob Pratik
Sijapati                                       Bijay Baral
Bhawani Giri                              Som Nath Khanal
Juddhabir                                  Pradip Kumar Chaudhary
ASI D K Singh                           Bikash Joshi
Sonam                                       Umesh Tamang
Dinesh Babu Panta                   Shekhar Chapagain
Katuwal                                     Ghanashyam Joshi
Sapana/Villager                        Sapana Chaudhary
Jamuna                                     Sushma Niraula
Gauri/DIG’s Wife                       Pramila Khanal
Rushma                                    Ranjana Oli
Head Constable/Villager          Sagar Dahal
Tirthe Kailo/Villager                   Arjesh Regmi
Jogeshwar/Villager                   Sabin Ghalan
Binod                                         Milan Karki
DIG                                           Raj Neupane
Shambhu/Villager                      C K Bista
Hira/Villager                               Devin Chaudhary
Mohan Singh/Villager                Kabiraj Rai
Mahesh                                      Sandeep Shrestha
Narayan/Villager                         Rijan Pariyar

Music Director                            Utsav Budhathoki
Sound Craft                                Dev Neupane
Sound Operator                          Chhejing Bhotia
Light Designer                            Umesh Tamang
Light Operator                            Vijaya Karki
Multimedia Operator                   Sachin Lama
Choreography                            Deeya Maskey
Set Designer                               Bimal Subedi
Set Constructers                         Hum B C/Johnen Kshetri
Set Painting                                Bikash Tamakhu/Sanisa Makaju
Costume Designer                     Arpana Nagarkoti/Sunu Rai
Poster Sketch                             Anamika Gautam
Graphic Designer                       Siddhanta Pudasaini
Photographer                             Nabin Babu Gurung
Videography                              Foto Crystal
Social Media                             Sagar Prasain
Box Office                                  Nabina Aryal
Finance                                      Govind Parajuli/Santosh Ghimire
Backstage Volunteers               Abhishek Sharma/Deenju Karki/Sanjay Gupta
Stage Manager                         Bijay Baral/Rijan Pariyar
Production Designer                 Dev Neupane
Assistant Director                     Som Nath Khanal
Script Translator/Lyrics                Viplob Pratik

Playwright                                    Mannu Bhandari
Director                                         Anup Baral

Director, Mandala Theatre
Anamnagar-32, Kathmandu
Nepal- 044600
M: +977 15705761, 9849296461