Jammu, November 18, 2023: In a captivating rendition of Euripides’ timeless classic, “The Bacchae,” performed by the team of Samooh Theatre illuminated the stage during the second phase of Theatre Festival organised by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages. Under the meticulous direction of Ravinder Sharma, the production unfolded the ancient Greek tragedy with a modern twist, bringing to life the dramatic tale of divine retribution and human folly.
The narrative unfolds in Thebes, where the union of Cadmus’ daughter Semele and Zeus sparks a chain of events that delves into the complexities of divine relationships. The tragedy unfolds as Zeus’ wife deceives Semele, leading to her untimely demise upon witnessing Zeus in his divine form. Zeus, in a desperate bid to save the unborn child Dionysus, sews him into his thigh until the opportune moment for his birth as the youngest Olympian god.
As Dionysus embarks on his journey to become the new god, the play takes a compelling turn upon his arrival in Thebes. Despite his divine nature, Dionysus faces resistance from the Thebans, especially the staunch ruler Pentheus, who is determined to defy the incoming deity. Dionysus, disguised as a stranger, orchestrates a series of events that ultimately lead to the tragic demise of Pentheus at the hands of his own mother, Agave, in a bloodthirsty rampage.
The stellar cast, including Devanshu Raina and Avinash Lakhnotra as Dionysus, Ajay Tamang as Tiresias, Diksha Pandita as Agave, and Sandeep Manhas as Pentheus, delivered powerful performances that brought the characters to life. The chorus, played by Manik Sharma, Nitish Verma, and Khushi Dubey, added depth and emotion to the narrative.
TThe backbone of this production, led by writer Euripides, showcased the collaborative efforts of the talented team. Ravinder Sharma’s multifaceted role as translator, set designer, costume designer, and director ensured a seamless and visually stunning presentation. Aditya Bharti’s lights design, Radhika Sharma’s music operation, Shammi Dhamir and Riya Saproo’s makeup artistry, and Pooja Sharma’s production control collectively contributed to the overall success of the production.
“The Bacchae” not only entertained but also provoked thought on the consequences of resisting change and defying the divine. The J&K Academy’s Theatre Festival continues to be a beacon of cultural enrichment, providing a platform for the region’s artistic talents to shine.