Charandas Chor | 2005 | 2006

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Charandas Chor was our maiden play.

Noted playwright Habib Tanvir, long celebrated for bridging the Indian classical and folk theatre with the contemporary, the play has a timeless quality that made it popular with a wide audience. We presented it an English translation that stayed close to its original flavour.

Charandas the ‘Chor’ or thief lives by openly robbing and dodging the law. Curiously he is a man of principles – an honest thief with a strong sense of integrity and professional efficiency.

Through Charandas’ acts and deeds the play exposes the double standards of established institutions – religion, the state and class hierarchies.

A times a comedy, and at others a tragedy, Charandas Chor cuts through them all to offer a social commentary on parts of India – and it could be rural life or modern politics. It offers a kind of celebration rather than irony and offered the Prayas players a chance to exercise a wide range of skills in acting and dance.

Charandas Chor ran over three nights in October 2005 to full houses. The show was brought back for a second season by popular demand in June 2006.

Direction: Amit Ohdedar
Prologue, Music & Audi-visual: Amit Ohdedar
Narration & Recitation: Madhumati Chaterjee & Knchan Bandopadhyay
Sound: Bradley Scraisbricks & Sandy Gunn
Lighting: Bill Brinsley
Stage: Kajal Mukherjee
Set: Sanjit Dutta & Talat Asker
Makeup: Kanchan Bandopadhyay & Padma Akula
Choreography & Assistant Director: Padma Akula
Costume: Kailash Ranchodji, Madhumati Chatterjee & Uma Banerjee
Event Publicity & Printing: Nilanjan Ghosal & Sanjit Dutta
Press & Public Relation: Sudeepta Vyas & Rati Bhowmik
Treasury: Aloke Roy
Campaign Writer: Lipika Sen
Special Acknowledgments to:Probasee Bengalee Association, Charles Mabbot – Asia NZ Foundation, Kirsty Glengarry – Creative NZ Auckland City, Venkat Raman – Indian Newslink, Vaibhab Gangan – Indian newslink, Robert Khan – Radio Tarana

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  • We both thought the show was of a very high standard for this type of production. The story (with its NZ customised humorous additions) was accessible and moved at a good pace.
  • The sound and lighting were professional and we enjoyed hearing at the end of the show about the background to the Society and how the performances were put together. The venue and atmosphere was conducive to a pleasant experience and the pricing of the show very reasonable.
  • A very amusing insight into Indian culture; a bit like the Bollywood meeting the stories of the Bible.
  • I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by the performers and the audience’s reaction showed that the performers endeared themselves to the crowd. The play’s twist kept
    interest levels raised as did the humour. The ability to laugh at the system and sensitive issues was enlightening. The clever use of the stage and the swift change of scenes were signs of the professionalism of the team involved in the production.
  • The players are to be congratulated; putting on a play is an enormous gamble that involves so much courage.
  • As a family we greatly enjoyed the Charandas Chor play. Great acting and good story-line kept us all entertained. The wife and daughter loved the beautiful costumes used. I particularly liked the input of local personalities and topical items. Theatre venue was great for viewing as you really are so close you become part of the play. Look forward to attending your next production planned for next year. Congratulations to you and your fantastic cast.
  • I really enjoyed the play. It moved along at a good pace, had plenty of humour and lots of topical jokes.
  • I particularly liked the interaction between the actors and the audience.
  • The standard of acting and dancing was very good.
  • It was a fun evening – please do more!

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