On the 9th of March, around 7:45 in the evening the gates for the most talked about play of META 2016 were about to be opened.
Faces in the crowd were flushed red with excitement. It seemed people were standing on their toes as a debate between religion and science, faith and logic was about to unleash itself.
Agnes of God, a play written by John Pielmeier presented itself in the light of cinematic effects produced by the plays director Kaizaad Kotwal. According to Kaizaad, in the beginning he had just three good actors and he wanted a play which could do justice with the talent of these actors. He was always interested in women-centric plays. His luck favoured him and around 30-35 years ago he saw a production of this same play in Bombay. With that, a journey started which is still inconclusive as the debate in the play is.
The play started with a reverberating sound of “What if I told you she is a saint?” And throughout the play Mother Superior and Dr. Livingstone tried to find out whether Agnes is a Tabula Rasa (a clean slate) innocent enough for an immaculate conception or whether she has been deluded and raped by someone.
The logic (in the form of Dr. Livingstone) pressed for the second strain of thought, but when Mother Superiors faith made Dr. Livingstone to question her own beliefs any conclusion on the either side seemed delusive and incomplete.
According to Anahita (Actor, Dr. Livingstone), logic and faith are not binary opposites rather they are dialectical in nature. Like the two poles of magnet they cannot exist without each other. And due to this dialectical relationship, they keep each other in check.
Avantis (Actor, Agnes) singing in the play was so real and beautiful that you could actually touch it. Along with the set design which realistically imitated a Catholic convent and the haze and mystery of the story line, the play kept the audience always on the edge of their seats.
Director Kaizaad used some excellent cinematographic techniques which seeped into drama so well that it appeared to be part of the script. The flashbacks accompanied with the beautiful music are just one example of his mastery.
So, while digging in the psychological past of womankind, this nail biting drama made people rethink how objective they are with their religions in their everyday life.
— Abhishek Tiwari
Watch the META play on 10th March! Click here to book tickets.