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“Only plays like ‘Adhe Adhure’ and the works of Kalidas and Shakespeare will persist as they address universal themes,” says Mohan Agashe

The veteran actor discusses the themes that make this Zee Theatre teleplay so compelling

Padma Shri awardee Mohan Agashe is one of the few actors who have combined a passion for their craft with an equally successful parallel career. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winner has worked in countless films, plays and television shows and also served as the Director General of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

The Hindi and Marathi theatre veteran plays a complex role in Mohan Rakesh’s acclaimed play ‘Adhe Adhure’. Commenting on the intertwined themes of the Zee Theatre teleplay, he says, “‘Adhe Adhure’ was the first woman-centric play when it came out. Although there are four or five male characters, all played by the same actor, it depicts that while women see them as different, male tendencies are fundamentally the same.”

Talking about his journey in theatre, the stalwart says, “My theatre career was not pre-planned. Very early on, during the birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, one of the leading amateur groups, whose supervisor was in my school, asked my father to allow me to play Amal in Tagore’s famous play, ‘Daak Ghar.’ My career in theatre might have ended when I joined medical college but precisely at that point, at ‘Purushottam Karandak’, a famous one-act play competition in Pune, I met Jabbar Patel, one of the most renowned theatre directors and actors. Instead of giving up theatre, my interest in it became serious.

We used to get together every evening to talk about theatre and perform. I joined an amateur theatre group and theatre became part of my daily routine. Though it didn’t fetch any money, it brought immense satisfaction. The group, Theatre Academy and particularly one play, ‘Ghashiram Kotwal,’ helped me travel the world. I played Nana for 20 years without earning a single penny, but I enjoyed my life the most during that period. And I think that’s how most of us start our profession—we start something because we like it and when we become good at it, it automatically turns into our profession. ”

Agashe also offers an interesting perspective on archiving teleplays like ‘Adhe Adhure’ and says, “I believe plays that transcend time and space, like ‘Adhe Adhure’, will persist. It addresses universal themes, like the differences in male and female perspectives on life, which is why it’s a classic. That’s why Kalidasa and Shakespeare have survived. There are two aspects to archiving: academic and artistic. In book format, the play is already preserved. Similarly, from a television perspective, it is helpful to televise these old plays in a new way, just like old wine in a new bottle. The soul of the play remains, though its presentation may change.”

The teleplay ‘Adhe Adhure’ also stars  Lillete Dubey, Ira Dubey and Rajeev Siddhartha. It can be watched on Airtel Theatre, Dish TV Rangmanch Active & D2h Rangmanch Active on  27th June 2024.

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