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12, Oct 2018

Imagine being able to watch your favorite movie live right in front of you; watching every action happen right there in real-time! Watching that same movie in the best 4k screen, with high grade 3D glasses and hooked up to the best audio system wouldn’t be as immersive, would it? Recently, I got to experience that exact immersive and real-time action moment when I went to watch a play with my classmates.

Maujang Babusaheb Ko Kot’ is actually a story in our Nepali course book. But even as a play, it was a very well performed piece of art. It is about an eponymous character named Humayu Jung Bahadur Rana (mostly known as Maujang Babusaheb) who was awarded with a Benson’s overcoat from the West Commanding General of Nepalgunj, which is where he lived. This coat was extremely valuable to him. Besides, this coat also plays an important role of symbolizing how times change in his life from becoming the most powerful and respected Rana to becoming the laughing stock among the public.

Since actual theatre was a first time experience to me, I paid attention to every little detail and action so that I could learn more about it. The actors presented their characters extremely accurately; the accent they used, the emotions they showed, the costumes they were on and the props they were using, everything collectively supported their character. One of the actors was so in character that she almost teared up while doing one of the scenes. Also, everytime Maujang Babusaheb would scold his maids, they would bow their heads and ‘gulp’. Every good actor knows how much of attention to detail is essential to get into character and these actors definitely knew what they were doing. Every action was thought of carefully and precisely and it was evident by their performance.

There was also a narrator who just added onto the greatness of the play. Normally, we think of narrators as just describing scenes and connecting two scenes together by simple ‘narrating’ it. Hence, we don’t find narrations interesting. But it wasn’t the case with this performance; even the narrator would bring out props with her every time to spice things up and she would dance and sometimes sing. The narrator was basically an act of her own. From this I learned how much of importance every performer has in theatre.

I also noticed how the actors were filling up the stage which set the mood of the scene making it even more immersive. I think if they were to be stagnant and simply deliver their lines, the audience would definitely understand the story but they wouldn’t feel like it’s happening right in front of them.

Overall, I learned that in theatre every little aspect of every little thing should be paid attention to and not just ignored. Otherwise, the play won’t be as immersive. I also learned that no matter how good a movie is, watching a play is a completely different experience. Even though movies require a lot more time to complete from pre to post productions, a theatre is a very difficult art where one has to do everything in sequence keeping in mind the attention to detail. ‘Maujang Babusaheb ko kot’ was one of the most difficult stories to understand but after watching the play I am very clear about the story as well as theatre and how it works.