Playwrights like Ashok Patole, Anand Mhasvekar, Vijay Tendulkar, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Shekhar Tamhane, Makarand Deshpande and Ashok Samel among many others have enriched Marathi theatre with their insights into social issues and the human condition. In their work, exists both universality and the vibrancy of Marathi literary traditions. This September, watch four Zee Theatre plays that celebrate the richness of Marathi culture and tell a wide array of stories. They offer an overview of the post-independence upheaval in feudal structures (Agnipankh), the ever-present link between unemployment and crime (Vaastav), the tragedy of an ageing artist (Natsamrat), and Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ with a Marathi flavour.
Written by Eklavya Sakpal, ‘Agnipankh’ is a period drama set in newly independent India where social restructuring is threatening to overturn the feudalistic zamindari system. The play also questions patriarchy embedded in feudal empires by placing a fiercely strong matriarch Durgeshwari or ‘Baisaab’ at the centre of the narrative. As she fights to preserve her position both in her family and in society, we also see in her the unloved wife, the protective mother, and a woman who has to learn to cope with a historic shift in the power hierarchies. Will she change with the times or remain obstinate?
Filmed and directed by Ganesh Yadav, ‘Agnipankh’ stars Mita Vashisht as Baisaab along with Dinkar Gawande, Gulki Joshi, Prabhat Sharma, Satyajeet Dubey, Satyajit Sharma, Sheetal Singh and Somesh Agarwal.
Watch it on Dish TV & D2H Rangmanch Active and Airtel Theatre on 23rd September
Inspired by Mahesh Manjhrekar’s 1999 film starring Sanjay Dutt, this gritty teleplay depicts the struggles of a lower-middle-class family in Mumbai and the tragedy of Raghu, an unemployed young man who is forced to take to crime when it becomes impossible to make a living with dignity. As he grows in stature in Mumbai’s underworld, moral lines blur and he spirals into darkness. How will his choices affect his family? Will he ever find his way back to innocence and normalcy? Watch how the Sawant family copes with the vagaries of fortune and Raghu’s new identity.
Directed by Ganesh Yadav, ‘Vaastav’ is available to watch on Dish TV & D2H Rangmanch Active and Airtel Theatre on 24th September.
This classic. play penned by VV Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj) has the Shakespearean gravitas of a ‘King Lear’ as it delineates the life of an acting stalwart Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar, who after reaching the pinnacle of success, has to face failure, heartbreak, betrayal from his own children and ignominy. However, his love for theatre makes it impossible for him to leave the stage as he continues to replay the golden memories from the past in his mind. Be it the venerated performance by Dr. Shriram Lagoo on stage or the intensity of Nana Patekar on screen, this is the dream role of every Marathi actor. In this Zee Theatre teleplay, Mohan Joshi essays Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar while Rohini Hattangadi, Shweta Mehendale, Sushil Inamdar and Bhakti Desai play other pivotal parts.
Directed by Hrushikesh Joshi, the teleplay can be watched on Dish TV & D2H Rangmanch Active and Airtel Theatre on 20th September.
This immortal tragedy by Shakespeare is about more than just the fatal flaw of indecision. It is also about how love, loss, grief, the hunger for power and guilt define and reshape human destinies. Famous actors like Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellen, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Richard Burton have played Hamlet and now Sumeet Raghavan essays the role of the enigmatic Prince of Denmark who wants to avenge his murdered father but is wracked by moral questions, his unexpressed love for Ophelia, his hatred for his uncle and his anger towards his mother. Tushar Dalvi, Sunil Tawade, and Mugdha Godbole also star in this play directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni.