A collaborative effort by a husband and wife duo, Kirtana Kumar and Konarak Reddy, and Emily Gray of the UK’s Trestle Theatre, Shakuntala is a re-imagining of the Mahabharata myth. Interestingly, they spurn Kalidasa’s version (though not his language), which is itself of course based on the Mahabharata, preferring instead the original briefly narrated episode in the epic. The play draws on a range of traditional Indian art – interspersing the narrative with kalari (South Indian dance/martial art), vocal rhythms, mudras (hand gestures) and Konarak Reddy’s famous music.
Kirtana Kumar talks about the play, the focus on memory, the use of tradition, and its reception in England and India here: https://venetiaansell.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/interview-with-kirtana-kumar/
It’s toured both the UK and India to much acclaim, and will be heading next to West Bengal and Manipur. More details on shows to follow.
See the Trestle Theatre’s page for photos, British reviews and other details: http://www.trestle.org.uk/index.php?plid=96
Or Konarak Reddy’s post on it: http://www.konarakreddy.com/index_files/Page1308.htm
I saw this play at Ranga Shankara in Bangalore a year or two ago – and loved it.