BooksHinduBig Bhis...

Big Bhishma in Madras (In Search of the Mahabharata with Peter Brook)

Description Read Full Description
About The Book A chance comment in 1974 bred Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Corriere with the idea of producing a play based on the epic. Together they travelled across India, searching for all possible theatrical forms of the great poem. The result was an epic play—nine hours with two intermissions—later made into a film and a TV series, which has become a landmark in theatre. Another result was this delightful book made from the notes that Corriere jotted down during his travels, whose charm...
About The Book

A chance comment in 1974 bred Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Corriere with the idea of producing a play based on the epic. Together they travelled across India, searching for all possible theatrical forms of the great poem. The result was an epic play—nine hours with two intermissions—later made into a film and a TV series, which has become a landmark in theatre. Another result was this delightful book made from the notes that Corriere jotted down during his travels, whose charm is enhanced by his piquant illustrations that run through the pages.

The 'sacred frenzy' of Theyyam in a Kerala village and the intricacies of Kathakali are interwovzen with their encounters with the aged Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, a 'one-in-three saint', and the towering Satyajit Ray in Kolkata. Here they also meet Professor P. Lal, who has been working for twenty years on translating the Mahabhararta into English. It is uignettes like these that make their search for the epic into a journey that shows India, through Carriere's words and sketches, in a way it has never been seen before.

Foreword

Jean-Claude Carriere was the main reason I stuck out what turned out to be a life-changing five-year adventure for me.

It was April 1984. I was five months pregnant with my first child, and had been in bed with jaundice for four months. That is how Peter Brook, Jean-Claude, Marie-Helene and the two designers, Chloe and Pippa, first saw me, at my home in Ahmedabad. Two days earlier I had received a telegram from my friend, the cultural attache at the French embassy in Delhi, saying that they wanted to see me. I was surprised and presumed it was for some minor role. I didn't know Peter's work but had read news reports of his casting quest in India. Within ten minutes of our meeting, Peter asked me to audition for the role of Draupadi. I was flabbergasted. Draupadi had always been my favourite character, feisty, unyielding, vocal. There was a catch, of course, and that was that the play was in French (I didn't know the language) and that the contract would be for two years. I was about to be a mother, had just started a publishing company with my then husband, and the prospect sounded frightening.

However famous Peter was, I knew that I had to like his work before even considering the offer. In New York a week later I watched his Cal"Mell, and was blown away. I told Peter I would audition. I was flown to Paris and made to do an audition at two in the morning at Peter's theatre, the Bouffe du Nord. I was offered the role, three weeks off early rehearsals to have my baby, and that was that.

Moving to France with a tiny baby, setting up home for the first time, not speaking the language, in the midst of the worst winter in years, with frozen piping in my apartment, and a rehearsal space which was an eight-floor walk up, was hard. And I disliked the atmosphere of the rehearsals. Every other actor was a star theatre actor from one country or another. I was a dancer. I was the only Indian and the only one amongst the actors who knew and had read and reread many versions of the Mahabharata. I had problems with women being interpreted as shrews. (There are no shrews in the Mahabharata, I told Peter, only Shaktis!) I disagreed with the way many scenes were interpreted. And I only had Jean-Claude to turn to, a man in charge, English-speaking, encouraging and understanding of my loneliness and despair.

I learnt French. Began to speak it well, in fact.

I learned to hold my own. I made good friends. I started unpeeling myself like an onion as an actor. I learned to be knowledgeable enough to be able to put up cogent arguments for why I thought certain scenes were wrongly interpreted. Previews started. I found women of all kinds reacting positively to my interpretation of Draupadi. We started touring the world. Then came the English version, then the film. And five years had gone by.

All the performance work I have done since, the work I create to bring about changes in mindsets and attitudes, were born in my experience playing Draupadi to diverse audiences. The confidence I got as a storyteller also comes from there. And through it all Jean-Claude remained a friend to turn to, a shoulder to cry on, and a buddy to celebrate with.

This book has been a fascinating read for me too because it predates my adventures with the troupe. And his squiggles are always a delight, capturing as they do, the prang of the figure he has drawn.

Contents and Sample Pages








Item Code: NAQ420 Author: Jean Claude Carriere Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2018 Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9789388326186 Language: English Size: 8.00 X 5.50 inch Pages: 124 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.2 Kg
Price: $19.00
Shipping Free
Viewed 431 times since 13th Apr, 2019
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Big Bhishma in Madras (In Search of the Mahabharata with Peter Brook) (Hindu | Books)

Mahabharata in Performance (A Rare Book)
Marvels & Mysteries of the Mahabharata (Probing The Folds of India’s Epochal Tragedy)
Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Iskcon (An Anthology of Scholarly Perspectives)
Testimonials
My previous purchasing order has safely arrived. I'm impressed. My trust and confidence in your business still firmly, highly maintained. I've now become your regular customer, and looking forward to ordering some more in the near future.
Chamras, Thailand
Excellent website with vast variety of goods to view and purchase, especially Books and Idols of Hindu Deities are amongst my favourite. Have purchased many items over the years from you with great expectation and pleasure and received them promptly as advertised. A Great admirer of goods on sale on your website, will definately return to purchase further items in future. Thank you Exotic India.
Ani, UK
Thank you for such wonderful books on the Divine.
Stevie, USA
I have bought several exquisite sculptures from Exotic India, and I have never been disappointed. I am looking forward to adding this unusual cobra to my collection.
Janice, USA
My statues arrived today ….they are beautiful. Time has stopped in my home since I have unwrapped them!! I look forward to continuing our relationship and adding more beauty and divinity to my home.
Joseph, USA
I recently received a book I ordered from you that I could not find anywhere else. Thank you very much for being such a great resource and for your remarkably fast shipping/delivery.
Prof. Adam, USA
Thank you for your expertise in shipping as none of my Buddhas have been damaged and they are beautiful.
Roberta, Australia
Very organized & easy to find a product website! I have bought item here in the past & am very satisfied! Thank you!
Suzanne, USA
This is a very nicely-done website and shopping for my 'Ashtavakra Gita' (a Bangla one, no less) was easy. Thanks!
Shurjendu, USA
Thank you for making these rare & important books available in States, and for your numerous discounts & sales.
John, USA