B'luru troupe's latest production gets staged in Chennai on Sept 24
The play has only two characters, the White South African train driver, Roelf played by Rohit Dave and the Black South African, gravedigger Simon played by KT Abraham.
CHENNAI: What do you do when you have the blood of an innocent on your hands? When you had no intention to force them to leave loved ones behind without bidding proper goodbyes? Recovering from that experience and the journey to seeking redemption is a Herculean task, but a task one has to endure.
Staging one of South African playwright Athol Fugard’s plays, Bengaluru-based theatre troupe Gnatak is staging the play ‘The Train Driver’ in the city on September 24 in collaboration with Chennai Art Theatre. The play has only two characters, the White South African train driver, Roelf played by Rohit Dave and the Black South African, gravedigger Simon played by KT Abraham.
Speaking to DT Next about the play Abraham says, “This post-apartheid play is based in South Africa. The story begins with a young woman and her child jumping in front of the train driven by Roelf. Unable to stop the train, he runs over them.
“This traumatic incident creates an impact in his life and changes him forever. This affects his professional and personal life. He loses his cool and gets into a heated argument with his wife. His wife tells him that it was not fair for him to yell at her as she had nothing to do with who he had become now and that he had to go and yell at the woman who did this to him.”
Abraham explains that through his journey of looking for the identities of the woman and the child, he passes through several shanty towns. He finally meets Simon, who buries people without names and families. His interaction with Simon offers him consolation and he feels his guilt has been redeemed.
The play is directed by Anik Ghosh, while the cast and crew are from different parts of the country. Abraham says, “In spite of being so far away from each other with jobs and family, we find time for theatre and make it for rehearsals no matter where we are. That’s how passionate we are about theatre.”
The 43-year-old troupe has begun rehearsing for the show. “Since I’m from Kerala and Rohit is from Chennai, we had been discussing and rehearsing lines over the phone. Now, the cast and crew have assembled and works are in full swing. We rehearse seven hours a day and all of it is going really well.
“We are looking forward to peforming in Chennai as the people of the city have always celebrated theatre,” he smiles.
We are looking forward to peforming in Chennai as the people of the city have always celebrated theatre