On a nippy November evening, I went to watch Master Builder (Mahan Shilpi) at Rimal Theatre, Gurukul. As I was having a weeklong leave, I thought that it would be nice if I watched this much acclaimed performance, which I missed during Ibsen Festival.
Notably, two Nepali movie actors Ramesh Budhathoki and Tika Pahadi were present at the show. Unfortunately, I could not solicit their comments but for me it was a refreshing moment to watch the renowned actors perform in front of a handful of audience.
Though, I had read Ibsen's The Doll’s House in my Post Graduate English classes, I had never known about the drama that was written a century ago but has an echo of our present. It talks about a builder’s anxiety about the upcoming generation overtaking his forte. The pre-performance announcement by Yubaraj Ghimire touched my heart. He said: “If you don’t like the drama, tell us, if you like it, tell to your friends.”
Breaking the rules (are these rules?), I would like to tell the actors: I liked it. A bit of criticism first: the adaptation is okay but does not suit to our milieu. Repeated pleas of Sushree (Miss) sounds boring. The sudden power failure did not deter the cast. But, to me it was unpleasant to see the actors themselves managing the change in scenes. Aren’t there better ways to do this?
The real drama begins only after the interval. In fact, after the arrival of Hira. Bishnu Bhakta Phuyal superbly plays the character of Ragab’s father. His character lingers long after he vanishes from the stage. Though, Nisha and Sunil’s roles reverberate the famed Doll’s House’s Nora and Hemanta, I was delighted to see them in different roles as a married builder and his admirer. Doctor’s role played by Raj Kumar Pudasaini was good. Similarly, builder’s wife Apsara (Aruna Karki), Kanta Chand (Pashupati Rai), builder’s love interest and Ragab (Mahesh Shakya) were not bad.
All in all, it’s a must see. You got to spare your time and watch out this drama directed by Sunil Pokharel and designed by Birendra Hamal.