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Rudali The Mourner


Sun 20 Oct 2013, 4:00pm–11:00pm
Mon 21 Oct 2013, 8:00pm–11:00pm
Thu 24 Oct 2013, 7:30pm
Fri 25 Oct 2013, 8:00pm
Sat 26 Oct 2013, 8:00pm

Where: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full: $25.00 ea
  • Concession: $20.00 ea
  • Groups of 6+: $20.00 ea
  • Children 15 and under: $15.00 ea
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: Elephant Publicity

After its successful premiere season in 2012, Prayas Theatre Group in association with The Edge bring back a re-devised Rudali The Mourner for the mainstream Auckland audience from October 17th.

In Tohri, as in many places, women of a lower caste are hired as mourners upon the death of rich upper-caste males. A Rudali (rou-daali) is paid to grieve aloud publicly so the family members of the dead retain their upper caste dignity befitting their social status.

Sanichari is mother-in-law to a beautiful and feisty woman who certainly does not accept her place or fate and sets out to defy the village rules. Around them in the village are a host of lively characters, from caring and conniving neighbours, a long lost friend, the comic village priest, ruthless landlords, some brazen prostitutes and a wickedly endearing old nag.

Together, they weave a story of friendship, treachery, greed, lust and duplicity around the unusual business of ‘‘Rudali” a professional female mourner.

Rudali the Mourner deals with some of India’s most potent social issues; caste and the role and place of women. The themes however could easily be any rural community in India, or even any place else– where powerful men exploit women – the wife, the neighbour and the local prostitute.

The character of Sanichari has had a life of bad fortune, but throughout it has never cried; it is ironic then, as the play’s plot takes her to the need to make money by mourning and providing mourners to weep at a rich funeral. As she finds these mourners among the local prostitutes, Sanichari ultimately becomes an icon of empowerment for tribal low-caste women.

Multi-cultural group Prayas has gone outside Auckland’s growing Indian community to come up with a multi-ethnic cast and crew. Indeed, the lead role that of a woman known as Sanichari, goes to a Cook Island actor.

"It is a brave play, and it is challenging for Prayas” says Amit Ohdedar, President of Prayas Theatre Group. “As it deals with some of the harsher issues that India faces. All the players have a passion for all things India, but it takes courage to open up with the community we now call home."

Rudali the Mourner explores a serious issue in an entertaining and engaging format and features a rich array of Indian folk music with a live orchestra, colorful dances and a vibrant village carnival.

Rudali is also being staged during this year’s Auckland Diwali festival on 19 and 20 October.

Restaurants to book near Rudali The Mourner