One of the most prominent plays by Hindi playwright Swadesh Deepak, Court Martial was staged on Saturday by the group Samahaara. The play questions the belief that rules, laws and discipline are tools in the hands of the powerful, forever ready to dismiss their subordinates. The story unfolds in an army courtroom, where an army recruit Ramchander is being tried for murdering an army officer and injuring another; a crime which he has already admitted to, prior to his trial.
Most of the participating actors have been part of the group’s theatre workshops and for some this play was their stage debut. “I had seen this play 10 years ago, when theatre director Arvind Gaur, along with a group of actors from Delhi had staged it here. I was quite moved by the play, and it stayed with me,” says Rathna Shekhar Reddy, the founder of Samahaara. Shekhar, who plays the defense counsel Captain Bikash Rai, adds that this is the first play, the group has staged in Hindi.
He adds, “We had performed it twice in 2012, but this time we are doing it with a new cast.” Shekhar says that, as a group they are keen on doing more vernacular plays in the future. “But it also depends on the script we have in hand and the actors, who need to be conversant with the language. We are also planning a few Telugu plays, something we haven’t attempted before,” he adds.