The Arts

Pleiades Theatre – Kalidasa’s Shakuntala

Pleiades Theatre – Kalidasa’s Shakuntala featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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Shakuntala
Pleiades Theatre
Written by Kalidasa
Directed and adapted by Charles Roy
Starring Anita Majumdar, Sanjay Talwar and Pragna Desai with David Collins, Frank Cox-O’Connell, Melee Hutton, Reza Jacobs and Carrie-Lynn Neales
At the Fleck Dance Theatre until Feb. 15
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The mandate of Pleiades Theatre is classics in translation. For its latest production, the company has reached back 2000 years to the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa and his epic play Shakuntala. Charles Roy has both adapted and directed Shakuntala, reducing its epic length to a manageable three hours or so. What we have is a worthy production that is emotional and poignant, interpolated with moments that are both charming and droll.

The story is about blighted love. A curse is placed on the innocent Shakuntala: she will be forgotten by the man who loves her. When she goes to find her husband, King Dushyanta, he does not recognize her. A powerful Anita Majumdar conveys Shakuntala’s rollercoaster emotional landscape, while Sanjay Talwar as the king is both manly and imperious. The rest of the mixed cast is strong, although the usually reliable David Collins garbles his words.

The sets, costumes and lighting are absolutely ravishing.

Shakuntala continues at the Fleck Dance Theatre until Feb. 15.

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