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Raging in Delhi and Rajasthan: Post-show Audience Discussions of Medea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2022


From April to November 2019, eight members of the pandies’ theatre, a Delhi-based activist theatre group, toured Delhi and Rajasthan with a fifty-five-minute version of Euripides’ Medea, in Hindustani. The group gave fifteen performances in the round, in spaces ranging from a tin shed to a plush air-conditioned conference room, addressing diverse audiences. During post-performance discussions in four spaces – Ambedkar University of Delhi, the village of Mangliawas in Rajasthan, the India Habitat Centre, and Studio Safdar in New Delhi – spontaneous debates arose between women on the one side and men on the other in which the women expressed their understanding of Medea’s actions or their ‘identification’ with her character. Anuradha Marwah, the director of the play, discusses these debates with reference to the ‘agonistic’ character of Medea (431 BCE) while framing the tour as a feminist activist endeavour in India today, where the condition of abandoned women and those considered to be outsiders has become even more precarious due to increasing divisiveness and chauvinism. Anuradha Marwah is a theatre activist and a Professor in the Department of English at Zakir Husain Delhi College, Delhi University. She was a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2017. Her publications include two plays, A Pipe Dream in Delhi and Ismat’s Love Stories, three novels, and several academic and popular articles.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2022

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