The Play

Tughlaq is a play about the turbulent rule of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. The protagonist, Mohammad bin Tughlaq, had great ideas and a grand vision, but his reign was an abject failure. Tughlaq was known for his reformist ideas, one of which was shifting the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in order to have a capital that is in the centre of his province. This play covers the consequences that followed this decision. The play dramatically highlights the importance of credibility and authenticity for a leader.  The play outlines his clever plots to eliminate his opponents and ends with scenes of utter chaos and misery in the kingdom, and Tughlaq being left alone, having been abandoned by those who survived him.


Director’s Note

Tughlaq is a political play. Mohammad is more about power than about an individual. Therefore the structural difference between the individual Mohammad and the political Mohammad is crucial. When Power undergoes conflict, lying within an idealistic false consciousness, the notion of nation is abandoned. The conflict between duty and the political ambition of Mohammad makes life difficult for the masses, and the very foundations of the imagination of a nation are forsaken. The play Tughlaq, analyses the various dimensions of ‘how’ or ‘what’ a ruler should or should not be. It is this contemporarily relevant idea that we should gather from the play than mere history.


The Director

Dr. Samkutty Pattomkary is a freelance director, designer and technical trainer in theatre. Formerly, an executive member of the Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy, Government of Kerala. Some of his plays as a script writer include Bheemaparvam , Deepra Thamas (Illuminated Darkness),  Urubhanga Sangodom  etc. As a director, he has been associated with many plays like, Kaalam Sakshi, Andha Yug, Ghatakarpparanma, Anth Nahin, Mahachaitra, Yeshodhare, Medea etc.  He has also designed more than 350 amateur/professional theatre and dance productions in Kerala with many leading directors from Kerala and abroad. In cinema, Dr. Pattomkary has acted for the documentary film Nayanarude Katha, worked as Director for the documentary film From Hutment Colonies to Agricultural Land and as an Art Director for movies like Mankolangal and English film Tantra. Dr. Pattomkary has received many awards, some of them being, Bank men’s Art Director Award, G. Sankara Pillai Endowment Award, Thoppil Bhasi Director Award (KPAC) and School of Drama Silver Jubilee Award.

 The Playwright

Girish Raghunath Karnad (born 19 May 1938) is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language. For four decades, Karnad has been writing plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. His plays have been translated into many Indian languages and directed by eminent theatre personalities like Ebrahim Alkazi, B.V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan and Amal Allana. He is active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter. He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

 The Group

‘Samudaya’ established in 1974, is a pioneer cultural organization. Some of its prominent proscenium plays are, Maxim Gorky’s Thayi (Mother), Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena’s Kuri, P. Lankesh’s Sankranthi , H.S. Shivaprakash’s Mahachaitra , Kattale Daari Dura an adaptation of Chekov’s ‘Ward No. 6’, Mahaswetha Devi’s Rudaali and Neeru, K.P. Poornachandra Thejaswi’s Jugari Cross, Suttikondare Sarpa a Kannada adaptation of Ibsens’ Enemy Of The People etcThe group has also produced many street plays like Patre Sangappana Kole, Kooli Thangi, Belchi, Bhanvri Devi, Tippu, Kesari Bili Hasiru, Meravanige, Dhanvantri Chikitse etc. as a cultural protest pertaining to the contemporary issues of the nation. In addition to the plays, Samudaya has been active in conducting seminars, book releases and national festivals too.

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