First premiered at The Hindu Theatre Fest 2016, Aayirathoru Iravugal is a humble re-telling of the popular story of the 1001 Arabian nights
Shahrazad is the quintessential peddler of stories, narrating one each night for 1001 nights to escape death at the hands of the villainous King Shahriyar.
While reading the stories, one is immediately struck by the dynamics of gender and power politics, notions of punishment, racial stereotyping, codes of morality, cultural mores that they contain/convey, that may be alien and surprising, yet all-too-familiar to most of us living in these times. The tales weaving into one another, with sub-plots and sub-sub-plots leading from the original frame story, are wondrous with magical and mythical elements popping up at every turn.
Our interest is on the micro-ideas within the canvas, the interactions, politics among genders, personality types, the socio-psychological bases on which people act/react and to reflect on the nature of evolution and need for the existence of the stories. In short, an experiment to explore the “what was”, “what if” and “what might be” possibilities of our worlds, internal and external.
So what finally happens to King Shahriyar? What would you want to happen to a man who beheads a city full of women because his wife, in his opinion, did not honor the contract of “marriage” that they mutually agreed to? Much depends on whether one views him as a victim or perpetrator, and the endless debate can be the beginning of another story that we must resolve in our minds.
Written and directed by Vinodhini Vaidynathan, with puppets, music, dance and comedy, five actors recreate Baghdad and its stories for you.
Entry to the play is open to anyone above the age of 16.
Lakshmipriyaa Chandramouli, Naresh D, Shravan Ramakrishnan, Vatsan Natarajan and Vinodhini Vaidynathan