Monday, April 14, 2014

Adi Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Shlokas on London Theatre Stage for the 1st time ever sung by two leading classical singers from Kerala

Theatre of Devas and New End Theatre showcase the WORLD PREMIÈRE of two major plays by leading poet and playwright Gopi Warrier (an Alumnus of London Business School, Ècole des Haute Études Commerciàles and New York University Graduate School of Business) at the magnificent Steiner Theatre in London from April 1, 2014 to April 24, 2014.

Directed by Alex Crampton, the cast contains leading British actors and actresses including the beautiful Sarah Hall, classical actor Tim Heath, Sanjive Hayre (who has acted as Jawaharlal Nehru), Lloyd Morris, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Tim Hilborne and Paul Piggott amongst others. On selected days there will be discussions with writers, intellectuals, corporate leaders and spiritual teachers on the issues raised in the play.

The premiere was marked by a brief talk by Sir Andrew Likierman, the Dean of London Business School and a Director of the Bank of England and Barclays Bank during the interval. On the premiere night, Miss Charlotte Endacotte, a leading British actress who played the lead role in several British plays including  Shakespeare’s  "As You Like it"  and Michael Frayn's "Noises Off " introduced Sir Andrew Liekerman to the audience and also the cast and the director at the end of the show.

The two powerful plays, which deal with important contemporary themes, have been conceptualised by the legendary Gopi Warrier, whose exploration of Eastern and Western philosophies is an inspiration to many. Warrier evokes his unique presentation abilities to make people see through the shallowness of materialistic society and reach into our inner souls so tainted by the materialism of this world.

"Polyester Lordship" masterfully portrays the absence of corporate social responsibility to workers and consumers in the often corrupt world of international business. It debates International Business Corruption vs. Social Responsibility in the quest for peerage. “Ego of the Yogis” is a more regretful yet romantic evocation of the search for true love and of the contamination of yoga and spirituality in the Western world and in India, the original home of yoga. It is a timeless saga of an upper-class English woman’s quest for true love and spirituality in an utterly contaminated world.

For the first time, the great Sage Adi Shankara's famous Sanskrit Poem "Kanakadhara Stavam" which he recites in the house of a poor woman who gives him alms is sung on the Theatre stage in London's theatre stage in the play “Ego of the Yogis”. In the example of Adi Shankara is cited to show the detachment of great Indian Sages in comparison to the egotistical and materialistic pursuit of Yoga in the west. The writer very much wanted a singer from India to recite these and chose two leading classical singers from Kerala to sing this and some excerpts from the song of Vasavadatta as she waits impatiently for the monk.

Another important showpiece in the play “Ego of the Yogis” is that of how the latest Japanese research mathematically proves the illusory nature of the world as the Hindus always believed. The hologram of the illusory universe was designed for Warrier by Jon Bunker, the leading special effects director for Hollywood films who has worked on ‘Star Wars’ and with Tom Cruise and George Clooney. This is based on Hindu Yantras of the cosmos that are practically in every temple and on which the deities are placed. Creating the Kshetra - the force field of the temple. These Yantras are representative of the ‘maya’ - the illusory nature of the universe which Hindu philosophy has always espoused and has NOW BEEN MATHEMATICALLY and scientifically proven by the researchers at the Ibaraki University in Japan.

PLAY 1: “Ego of the Yogis”- Search for Spirituality in this Utterly Contaminated World
The play centres on an upper class English woman’s quest for true love and her search for a spiritual teacher. Disillusioned by her marriage she meets an Indian teacher briefly who tells her that all life is an illusion and only through yoga and meditation can one attain liberation from the cycles of birth and death. To find the teacher again she encounters a number of fake gurus and becomes more and more disenchanted with the contemporary world of spiritual seekers until her secret obsession is resolved unexpectedly.

PLAY 2: “Polyester Lordship” - International Business Corruption vs. Social Responsibility in the Quest for a Peerage
This play about the corrupt nature of many acquisitions and mergers, involving international businesses in most countries but particularly in Asia, takes the audience through the murky negotiations for the acquisition of an Indian textile factory. Aggressive executives from London deal with the shady underworld - but also honourable characters, both British and Indian, who demonstrate principled corporate responsibility to workers and the local community. An evolving relationship between two of the directors brings an element of love and compassion into the tense and very dangerous developments in the factory and the city of Mumbai as the deal progresses.
About Gopi Warrier: Gopi Warrier has lived in London for 34 years. He studied English Literature in India and then came to London Business School and completed an MBA in International Business from here and from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris and the New York University Graduate School of  Business. He comes from a well known and distinguished family of writers, physicians, diplomats and administrators including Chief Ministers to the erstwhile kings of Kerala. His grand father M. R. Krishna Warrier was a leading poet of Kerala and his father G. P. Warrier the Chairman of the Indian National Railways and Principal Secretary to the Government of India. Warrier has published three volumes of poetry including Varaha The Secret of Evolution and the Lament of JC and the art film produced and co-directed by him based on his poetry was nominated for the best spiritual film award at the Greatlakes film festival in the U.S and also chosen to be exhibited at Canadian, French and Hongkong film festivals. He has staged five plays in London including God Sports, The Tenth Incarnation, Genesis of Karma-Three Faces of Evil, Siddhivinayak Saves Mumbai from Terror Attack. Warrier also started McAlpine, Thorpe and Warrier, the management consultancy firm in London and also founded the Ayurvedic Company of the Great Britain as well as the Delhi London Poetry foundation to encourage young poets to write. Gopi Warrier has also authored several books on Ayurveda, India’s ancient medical system including: - The Complete Illustrated Guide to Ayurveda (with Deepika Gunwant); - Ayurveda, The Right Way to Live; and -  The Secrets of Ayurveda (with Dr. Harsh Varma and Karen Sullivan).

Reviewers on Gopi Warrier’s plays
"Beautiful, extraordinary, perfectly timed" – The Economic Times *****

“The play written by Gopi Warrier tackles the huge divide between Western values, ideas about medicine, spirituality and the lack of it in the West, racism, poetry, love and philosophy. Gopi Warrier manages to weave all this into wonderful poetry which makes you want to catch and linger on every word” - Linda Bilgorri on ‘Godsports’ at New End Theatre.

“Gopi Warrier’s genius is the synthesis of Eastern and Western Mythologies” - The Hindustan Times.

“Gopi Warrier lives in London and has lived in and travelled around the world. He has a facile pen for satire, eye for the shape of language and a sensitive ear for cadence” - Keki Daruwalla, leading Indian poet writing in the Hindustan Times

“Tenth Incarnation is a tale of love on an earthly level and the exploration of happiness, redemption and truth on an ethereal level. This is cerebral theatre at its best. Highly recommended.” - Dale Maitland Cartwright.

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