The Mrichhakatikaa is a 5th century Sanskrit play atributed to King Sudraka, which has been adapted for BBC Radio 3 by Roger Elsgood with Willi Richards and Graeme Fife.
Unlike its older relative The Mahabharata, it is not a vast oral epic requiring a cast of thousands and hours of airtime, but an intimate play, rather like a Feydeau farce or perhaps a Christmas pantomime.
It tells the story of Charudatta, a nobleman impoverished by his unconstrained altruism and Vasanta a beautiful-but-bored courtesan looking to settle down.
Their romance is set in a time of civil unrest in 5th century Ujjain and is constantly thwarted by the bufoon brother-in-law of a wicked king.
It features a Shampooer who transforms into a Buddhist priest, a housebreaker who becomes a revolutionary upstart and saves the city, a glorious confusion over the possession of a casket of jewellery, a near-death experience caused by getting into the wrong taxi and a conflagration of sub-plots which culminate in a very Indian denouement.
It was recorded entirely on location in Khandala India with an all-Indian cast and has an eclectic soundtrack featuring the work of contemporary Indian musicians.
Vasanta....Dipka Roy Charudatta....Denzil Smith Jaganmatha/Radha....Lovleen Mishra Maitreya....Kunaal Roy Kapur Guruji....Sohrab Ardeshir Manda....Smita Rosemeyer Sarvi....Joy Sengupta Judge/Vardha....Farid Currim Dardu....Rehaan Engineer Captain Chanda....Quasar Padamsee Captain Viraka....Nadir Khan Aryaka....Digvijay Sawant The Priest....Darshan Jariwala The Executioner....Vinay Pathak.