The Poetry and Dramatics Event organized at the National Law University, Delhi.

The periodic poetry and Play event, Dionysia was held in the National Law University, Delhi on 16 May 2014. Dr. Prasannanshu, Associate Professor of English initiated the event half-a-decade ago, and since this fest has become an integral tradition of the University, and now draws enthusiastic participation of all students first year students. This year too, the tradition was kept alive with an exquisite array of plays. The plays were followed by a poetry meet on the bilingual theme of ‘Justice’/ ‘Nyaya’.

The impressive campus of NLUD came alive with the subtlest and loftiest form of literature, viz. poetry and credit must be given to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ranbir Singh who encourages such activities in the University. 

Dr. Prasannanshu, who believes that literature is a living creature that thrives better in the freedom of outdoors rather the confines of the classroom. The event was very well attended not only people from diverse fields e.g. education, literature, law and media were present, but the most enthusiastic participation of the students was heartening to see.

The themes revolved around the questions of justice, society and law. Dr. Prasannanshu as a teacher expressed his satisfaction at the fact that all students of the first year took part in the event voluntarily, and showed not only their acting skills but had an opportunity of demonstrating their technical, organization and leadership skills, as well, in this event. 

The actors did not always stick to the script religiously, and their ingenuity and innovation at times brought about unexpected and mostly delightful new interpretations of the original work.

Several eminent poets and writers attended the event and several of them addressed the students and presented their poems in the poetry meet. The stage at the meet was conducted by Mr. Suneel Hapuria, and the poets who read their poems were: Dr. Chandramani Brahmdatt, and Dr. Pushpa Singh Visen, both from the Narayani Sahitya Akadami, Mr. Sujeet Shokeen, Dr. Prasannanshu, Mr. Md. Ilyasi, Dr. Laxmi Bhatt, Mr. Ved Prakash Kanwar and Mrs. Sukhversh Kanwar ‘Tanha’.

The details of the plays:
Nyaya Ka Rakhwala by the professional theatre troupe Rangashree was a presentation Directed by the founder of Rangashree, Mr. Mahendra Prasad Singh. The play was based on the bitter and yet amusing realities of life in a police station. The lead actor stole the show with a stellar performance, maintaining an equal level of confidence and “integrity” as a “guardian of the law”. The supporting cast did an excellent job as well, providing great comic relief during an otherwise serious play.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw was the first play to be staged by the students. Alok Gokhale and Vaibhavi Shaunak directed the play which stayed true to the original script and did justice to this timeless classic. AK Soumya impressed with an endearing portrayal of Eliza Doolittle, the common flower girl who is transformed into a woman of substance by Prof. Henry Higgins. They were ably supported by a wonderful cast who put up a delightful rendition of this masterpiece of Shaw. 

Arthur Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, a satire, was given a refreshing touch by Siddharth Gupta and Kartik Ashta. Contemporaneously set, the libretto was adapted into a skit, albeit with Bollywood songs, and it made for a hilarious treat. While retaining the basic structure of the original script, the adaptation went as far as incorporating elements of a modern social evil, dowry, in the plot. This masterstroke worked its magic as the audience subtly caught the message.

The Background was a play adapted from the short story of the same name by HH Munro, popularly known as Saki. Ashutosh Sengar and Devagya Jha directed the play, innovating in a big way, although basing it on the original script. Shivanshu Bhardwaj excellently portrayed the protagonist, who rises to power extremely rapidly, and sickens of it just as fast, and R.S. Lakshman delivered a powerful performance as the Counsel for the Petitioner.

The Silver Box by John Galsworthy was a play adapted by the director Kainaz Tanveer. It was cleverly adapted to an Indian setting, with the cast doing an excellent job of realistically portraying depicted characters. Ananat Ram Mishra, Mohit Chawdhary and Abhishek Sharma delivered truly stellar performances, gripping the audience with their genuine and powerful acting skills. Anandita Duggal did a great job of portraying the mother of the prodigal son, and the huge supporting cast were all hilarious and serious as and when required. All in all, it ended up being a great experience for the audience and the cast, and provided a fitting and enthralling conclusion to the event.