Organised by Gurukul, the theatre group that has pioneered international class drama in Kathmandu, the festival showcased performances by groups from Denmark, Norway, England, America, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
The festival started on 12 November with the play Dreams of Peach Blossoms written by Abhi Subedi and directed by Gurukul's Sunil Pokharel. Among the more popular plays were those performed by Indian artistes, mainly because there was no language barrier for the mostly-Nepali audience.
The hall was packed for the performance by the Kshitiz New Delhi Theatre of Bimaar and Bade Bhaiya. Directed by Bharati Sharma, Bade Bhaiya revolves around two brothers in which the elder brother always empowers the younger one. It shows the power relations between male siblings. Bimaar is a sitcom in which a character receives useless suggestion from his countless relatives to help cure his common cold.
"The response of the audience was amazing, we could sense that they were really engaged, it showed there is no cultural barrier between India and Nepal," said Sumit Vats of the viewers at Gurukul.
Director Bharati Sharma agreed: "We are really thankful to Gurukul for giving us this opportunity to perform to such a responsive audience in Kathmandu."
Other members of the audience were so impressed they decided to come back for the performance of And Dead Trees Give No Shelter, a one-act play by director Pranab Mukherjee-no relation to his namesake, the Indian foreign minister who is also in Kathmandu this week.
But the language barrier didn't seem to hurt plays like Hungry Tiger from Denmark and Wesandon, The Lost Track of Nirvana from Thailand performed this week. "The plays were really different and beautiful, I especially liked the body language and mimicking," said Saguna Sigdel, college student from Thankot.
Abhi Subedi who was also in the audience said the theatre festival had been a good opportunity to expose Nepali artistes to international theatre. "Drama is always a very good platform for the exchange of ideas," he said.
Sunil Pokhrel of Gurukul is satisfied that the theatre festival fulfilled its promise, adding: "It was very interactive and proved to be an effective way to ensure inter-cultural exchange."
Shikha Sharma and Prakriti Pathak