Boy With a Suitcase is an English play that I saw a couple of months back from Rangashankara, Bangalore. At that time I had watched quite a few plays with similar themes and I was not interested to repeat what I wrote just a week or two back. That is why I just postponed writing about this delightful play.
Boy With a Suitcase is an Indo German joint production- Rangashankara and Schnaawl. Directed by Andrea Gronemeyer, it is the story of a boy who had to travel to London from his unspecified home town when his home is destroyed in war.
Displacement is a major recurring theme in contemporary art- be it novel, plays or poetry. I think the biggest challenge that modern man has to face is to adjust to the changes he has to face when he is forced to get displaced from his home. The causes may be different- war, search of better living conditions, dissatisfaction.. In middle ages, it was pretty rare for someone to leave the comfort of his home and travel to the uncertainty of distant lands. That may be the reason why we have celebrated all those rare journeys by making them legends- actual and fictional, like those of Sindbad or that of Ibn u Batuta.
But in modern times, each of us is Sindbad, embarking on our personal adventure with a string attached to a home that we had possessed once upon a time. The boy also has heard the story of Sindbad and is excited to start his journey to distant land of London, where his sister lives. His parents have send him off in a bus with just a suitcase so that atleast he will be safe from a raging war. The play draws a parallel with the journeys of Sindbad by making the boy go through some far fetched situations, where he meets some very peculiar characters.