The Chairs is one of those plays that you would certainly not understand as a kid. And to understand it as an adult, you'd have to be a P3 person.
The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation is organizing a play called The Chairs, on 28th October, at ITC Kakatiya Sheraton. The play was written by Eugène Ionesco in French, and later translated to English.
The Chairs is centred on a couple which lives in isolation in a circular building surrounded by water. Their favourite pastime is to dip into their past and pretend to be surrounded by a sea of people in their present. So the scenes shift between the past and the present. The man who is a janitor then proudly reveals to the audience that he's the "master of the mop and bucket". And to prove to his wife that he can make it big even now, he calls all the people in the world - big and small - to hear his great message, "the culmination of a life's wisdom that will save humanity".
But there's a slight hesitation in him, born out of a fear that he may not be able to speak before a large crowd. So he starts marketing the idea of an efficient orator giving a speech about his life and achievements instead. And that's where the fun begins.
The stage gets filled with wooden chairs, representing the huge crowd, waiting to hear the orator. Finally there are so many people that the couple have no more chairs, nor standing room.
The play offers a magnificent insight into the human thoughts which transpire in old people; that of loneliness and the absurd, the wish to hide a life of despair and unfulfilled dreams.
The Romanian-born Eugène Ionesco was one of the foremost playwrights of the theater of the absurd. He spent most of his childhood in France but in his early teenage years returned to Romania, where he qualified as a teacher of French. He returned to France in 1938 to complete his doctoral thesis. Caught by the outbreak of war in 1939, he settled there, earning his living as a proofreader for publishers.
Ionesco came to playwriting almost by chance. Having decided to learn English, he was struck by the emptiness of the clichés of daily conversation that appeared in his phrase book. Out of such nonsensical sentences he constructed his first play, The Bald Soprano.
This play has been directed by Atul Kumar. Atul's foray into theater began while he was still in school in Delhi. He was with a group called Chingaari for about 10-12 years, and he made his presence felt as an actor. This is where he picked up his philosophy and approach to theater. Towards this, he also learnt Kathakali for three years in Kerala. He also worked with Philipe Gentile of France, who again did physical theater.
Please contact 6534-7398 for further details.