Author: Satish Alekar
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Shanta Gokhle
Publisher: Seagull Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170462088
In this unusual Marathi play the playwright weaves a complex narrative with just four characters - Begum Barve, a small time female impersonator who has spent his life playing bit roles in the professional Marathi theatre of the early twentieth century, his exploitative employer Shyamrao and two clerks.
Trapped between sensuous longings and the sordid reality of their humdrum existence, they seek redemption in make-believe. Layers of space and time interweave and overlap in this powerfully haunting play, in which dreams and fantasy inevitably turn into nightmares.
Begum Barve in the original Marathi was directed by the playwright himself. It has also been performed in Hindi and Gujarati adaptations. This new edition supplements the text with a critical essay and a note on the songs by Urmila Bhirdikar, translator, critic, musicologist, vocalist and Reader, Department of English, Pune University ; an interview with the playwright by Shelke, scholar and commentator on Marathi theatre ; and a note by Amal Allana, who directed the play in Hindi.