Improper Fractions in association with Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi presents a theatrical adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
A young girl is returned to her parents by her husband on her wedding night; a murder follows, but this narrative is no thriller. Before the crime is even committed, the whole village knows the where, when and why of it all. The story is of the community’s collective guilt; “Honor is love” —that’s what they all said.
The performance is an unusual combination of the use of storytelling technique and characters’ first person accounts that are sometimes varying, some similar, some shaky, at times minutely detailed and some fading recollections of the honor killing. As the characters strain their memory or pour out a still open wound from the murder, the shadowy recounting of the past in Garcia Marquez’s epic narrative reveals itself in magical and fantastic visuals.
Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyY_BIamfik&feature=youtu.b
I was struck by the question of how to be true to Marquez as I try to retell his story in performance? The chronicling of the Truth lies not in the details of how the murder was committed but the constructs of “honour” and “love”. That there are many tellings of the same incident and each is as true as the other because Truth is not a constant, stagnant thing. It shifts, it changes forms and it has an interesting relationship with memory. So, I decided to look at the text from the lens of “how to tell a story”, how to chronicle a death foretold? What is the role of the chronicler? Also, I was interested in exploring the idea of what binds the community. In spite of their differing truths they are bound together in their collective guilt of being complicit in this murder, of reinstating honour as something that resides in a woman’s body. In performance, I found it interesting to explore how this collective guilt could reside in the body of one performer, a woman performer.
• Premiered at the Delhi International Arts Festival on the 2nd of November, 2014, Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi.
• Zorba the Buddha, New Delhi (25th April ‘15)
• India International Center, New Delhi (30th April ‘15)
• Bhartendu Bawan, Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lucknow (29th May ‘15)
• Ranga Shankara, Bengaluru (7th June ’15)