The foundation of the concept of Manthan lies in taking the art of street play to where it belongs in its true essence, the streets. This year, in its 9th edition of, along with reaching out to Tomsk, Russia for a street play performance, Manthan Mahotsav was Verve’s latest initiative, wherein many locations of Delhi came alive with street choruses, all at the same time,i.e. 3-6 PM, 28th February, 2016.
Every location in Delhi had a flavour of its own, starting from Hauz Khas Village, where Delhi saw theatre beyond compare. There were topics like religious intolerance, plight of the middle class and appalling state of men in era of feminism.
We found an amazing audience response with people applauding the teams for their brilliant show. Kamla Nagar Market echoed with issues like normalization of patriarchy, censorship of art and expression, and north- ast discrimination. Watching theatre backed with the will to change was received beautifully by the audience, who appreciated the teams personally for such enthralling social messages.
Connaught Place Inner Circle, the heart of Delhi was the hub of drama. Issues like western hegemony, life of eunuchs in India and the misuse of administrative power left the audience enthralled, as we could gather from the wonderful feedback from the public. Sri Ram Centre, Mandi House, which is popular as the destination to smart theatre. Topics like the Indian sex industry and the life of circus artists saw an overflow of the crowd that couldn’t stop appreciating the teams.
Vishwavidyalya Metro Station celebrated Street theatre with 5 teams engaging the North Campus audience, the place had become an attraction for more than a hundred people audience, all of them applauding the classic performances.
Delhi Haat, Janakpuri, the spot for never-ending amazement, was the actual destination to intellect. Topics like child sexual abuse and homophobia as a problem were lauded for their content and performance, and the teams got amazing feedback from the audience. Greater Kailash I M Block Market thronged with voices on concerns like reforms for juvenile delinquents, LGBT issues and overuse of technology, which got a thrilling response from the audience including some personal encounters of topic specific feedback. At M2K, Rohini, the shopping complex came alive with topics like children of prostitutes, national security and over-ambition that had turned the ambience upside down, changing the atmosphere full of energy, as the teams presented wonderful statistics and facts of social interest.
At INA Market, shopaholics reached the market in huge numbers. Topics like orthodoxy due to saffronisation and caste politics in reservations knocked the surface of the society, receiving great reviews from the audience. Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar had seen the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, respect of the service class and shortcomings of the medical sector were the topics that kept the audience captivated. Many people were seen with teary eyes after seeing the emotional content, and those wouldn’t stop praising the artists for their performance.
Green Park Market saw a lot of emotion and drama when plays on discrimination against men in this era of feminism, the rich getting away with crime and malpractices in the medical sector had amazed the market, with passersby taking videos of the play and personally approaching the teams and the artists for their amazing performances.
At Spark Mall, the new attraction of the North Campus , the crowd had witnessed a play on censorship of expression and the team got amazing feedback for their content and performance. Netaji Subhash Place, the food hub became the hub of nationalist ideology, where plays on brain drain and national intolerance earned positive reviews for their wonderful and engaging execution.
The last but not the least, Delhi Haat ,INA staged 5 plays, each of them ending up in enthralled feedbacks by the audience, who personally approached the teams and the organising team to appreciate the concept of the play.
Manthan Mahotsav was indeed a success, an impression that shall last considerably long.
Not only the Delhi chapter, Manthan has covered a host of cities after Delhi, ranging from Hamirpur on 24th, Jammu on 29th, Patiala on 3rd, Lucknow on 5th, Pune on 10th, Solan and Ranchi on 13th, Manipal and Jaipur on 14th and Bangaluru on 15th of March. Manthan has aimed at targeting the root of the country through reaching out to as many cities and towns of India, as possible. Performances in cities like Chennai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram have also taken place.
On the 10th of March, Pune saw the performance by Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering (Pune) on the topic “Save Water”. The play was amazingly received by the audience who specially contacted the team and held a discussion regarding the issue of water conservation and management. Not only this, the commercial capital of the country, Mumbai was host to teams voicing their concerns, ranging from NIFT Mumbai performing about impact of social media and Naujawan-E-Hind talking about national integration on 20th February,2016 in Dharavi.
With something as noble as Manthan, Verve went international, taking it to Tomsk, Russia on the 24th of February and Kathmandu, Nepal on the 2nd of March. The international reach of the humble street play is truly commendable.