Tonthoi to be Tomba’s monkey in ‘Keishumshangi Nupi’

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“I feel closer with nature when I take the role of a monkey. My love and regard for animals and nature have grown with the play ‘Keishumshangi Nupi’.”

This was stated by Leishangthem Tonthoi, popular cine artist in a brief chat with the Imphal Free Press. She was speaking on the sidelines of her rehearsal of the play ‘Keishumshangi Nupi’, of Kalakshetra Manipur, directed by Heisnam Tomba.

The play is Tonthoi’s second venture with Kalakshetra Manipur. She played Ngangbiton in ‘Tamnalai’, which was her first stint with the acclaimed theatre group of Manipur.

On being asked about her experience of working in theatre and that too playing the role of a monkey away from the gaze of camera, she was quick to reply.

“I have immense respect for theatre. And I consider lucky to be able to work with a group like Kalakshetra Manipur which rigorous training of body and voice culture is par excellence”, she said.

Tonthoi continued, “I didn’t decide on the role. Oja Tomba gave me the role and it’s my duty as an actor to take it. Besides, I am also the production assistant of the play.”

The actor was thinking of taking a break from her shooting schedules to concentrate on scripting. But when she came to learn about Kalakshetra’s new production she right away plunged into it.

“We have worked with Tonthoi in ‘Tamnalai’ and she has always been keen to associate with us. So I decided I should take her along in this production as well”, said Heisnam Tomba, director of the play.

‘Keishumshangi Nupi’ is his 18th directorial venture after acclaimed plays like ‘Khudito Pashan’, ‘Samnadraba Mami’ and ‘An Enemy of the People’ among others.

Tomba maintained ‘Keishumshangi Nupi’ is a stage adaption of Rajkumar Bhubonsana’s short story ‘Laishramgi Zoo’, which was published in a local daily way back in 1999.

“I liked the story so much and I have been thinking to adapt it into play. We have woven in layers of narrative specifically on women as primary focus. I hope audience will appreciate our endeavor”, said Tomba.

The play is scheduled for May 7, at the Chandrakirti auditorium, Palace Compound at 3 pm.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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