A play on the life of Mirabai Chanu staged in Manipur
Imphal, Sep. 20 (EMN): Shumang Leela, a traditional courtyard play of Manipur titled, ‘Mei Iklaba Thamoi’ (An ignited heart) on life and work of Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was premiered in Imphal on Sunday to motivate the sportspersons and produce more Olympians in the future.
According to Ranjit Ningthouja, the well-known playwright who penned the 2-hour-long play, the basic idea of producing such a traditional form of play is to motivate sports persons and produce more Olympians from the Northeast with Mirabai being their role model.
Other objectives include promotion and popularisation of Shumang Leela art form and also to encourage the Shumang Leela artistes during the prevailing Covid situation, Ranjit said
The play premiered at the state’s popular playhouse — Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen in presence of ministers and functionaries of the production committee in Imphal.
According to Ranjit, it took about two complete months to develop the scripts and organise the play. The production committee plans to perform the play in some selected cities of Northeast apart from telecasting it through local television channels with subtitles. They also aim to perform it at Patiala, where Mirabai is provided training.
Traditionally in Shumang Leela, male actors, some dressed as beautiful women, play all the roles. In the play directed by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Sougrakpam Hemanta, well known artist Thongram Heramoti plays the role of Mirabai while Sorokhaibam Robindro popularly known as Langthabal Robindro plays the roles of Mirabai’s mother Saikhom Tombi.
Saikhom Mirabai, who won the country’s first silver medal in women’s 49 kg weightlifting with a total lift of 202 kg on the first day of the Tokyo Olympics, was accorded a hero’s welcome when she returned home in Imphal east district village on July 24.