The Middle One, or the Madhyama Vyāyoga, is a one-act Sanskrit play attributed to Bhāsa (c.a 3-4th centuries CE). With the generous support from TORCH (the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) and Queen's College, we are bringing the ancient script back to life in its original language. The play is comparable with the Oedipus Rex for its subject matter, breathtaking coincidence, and great literary achievement.
A fierce demon demands a member of an innocent priestly family to be sacrificed for his mom's breakfast. How will the family pick out the unfortunate one? With the tragedy looming large, the world protector is also abducted by the demon. Yet soon the demon realises that he has been the subject of manipulation. A more intricate plot is to be revealed.
All of the cast are students at the Oriental Institute, ranging from second year BA to third year DPhil students. The 45-minute captioned performance will be preceded by a 20-min talk "Sanskrit drama: Emotion in a dead language."