Posts Tagged ‘Theatre’

"Antaryatra" at Ranga Shankara on 30th July

India Foundation for the Arts



Directed and Performed by Usha Ganguli

Produced by Rangakarmee

Supported by Sobha Developers

July 30th, Ranga Shankara 7:30 pm


"Sapne" (Hindi) as part of Sanchay by Mashaal

It’s a long time since we had Hindi theatre here…and now it’s in the offing….

Mashaal brings to you Sanchay. Sanchay (meaning ‘Collection’ in Hindi) is a new initiative by Mashaal which aims to showcase on stage, a few short pieces of theatrical performances, different from one another in content & presentation, but united by a common theme.

Theme : Sapne
Language : Hindi
Date & Time : 27th July, 7:30 p.m.
Location : CFD (Centre for Film and Drama)
Duration : 60-70 minutes
Entry : Rs. 75
For bookings contact: +91 9739803104 or


"The Woman In Me" at Ranga Shankara

An intense, absorbing play…that was “The Woman In Me”, by Pawan Kumar , that was staged on Thursday and today at Ranga Shankara.


A view of the various plays that ACTof has put up, displayed at the Ranga Shankara foyer.

Rajiv and Nina are a married couple…and Nina is raped and murdered by three men when she goes to a party thrown by the airline that she works for, as an air hostess. Rajiv is a writer, not entirely comfortable at his being at home while Nina puts the bread on the table…

Pawan Kumar slips in and out of the personae of Nina and Rajiv, which confront Rajiv (the audience was not introduced to the actor who played Rajiv, or to the crew, on Friday at least…Pawan, you MUST introduce everyone to the audience at the end, even if this takes a few minutes.), played by another very talented actor. As the woman in the man confronts the man with truths that he doesn’t want to admit to himself, layers get peeled away….murder, rape, marriage…what is the definition of all these?

Pawan did fluff his lines a bit at the beginning of the play..but then, his ability to slip into a female persona which is so credible even when he is putting in the balloons in his bustline, and tying the saree on stage….that was superb.

The sequences where Rajiv and Nina reach out to each other, with superb lighting, made for a visual treat.

The props were: two water closets which served as the seating focus, with books, toilet paper, alcohol bottles, and other deteritus of daily life strewn around; two washbasins facing each other, with two buckets (with a fish in each of them, how symbolic!) and two mugs….the toilet was even “used” by “Rajiv” at one point.


Powerful performances from both the actors enhanced the intense mood of the play.


The rapid-fire delivery of dialogue by both of them in one sequence brought home the fevered pitch of thought. The use of shadows to show what happens to Nina is innovative.


The sound was well managed throughout, and voices carried clearly even when Pawan was “behind” stage.

The play disturbed me and made me think hard; I am very impressed that such a young man is able to delve so deeply into the male and female psyche and bring out the nuances of how men do not even understand when they are raping their own wives…

Strongly recommended! (though I would not ask someone who wants a little light entertainment after work, in the evening, to watch this play.) I think that ACTor is a very talented theatre group, and I hope that they go from success to success…

"The Final Rehearsal"….excellent

I went today to watch “The Final Rehearsal” by ACTor Productions, Bangalore , and came away very impressed with a theatre group that seems to have got its…er…act together, with a very talented team, led by Pawan Kumar.

The play is all about competition, winning and losing….acceptance and rejection. An actor describes his experiences, working his way up the ladder (from playing a tree in Macbeth, where he artistically sways to and fro) to finally getting the part of Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, only to lose it because when he trips over Browniel (more about this character later) he drops the actor playing Caesar…and that’s the director’s son!

The dialogue was very well-written, with that touch for the everyday phrase that is so natural when spoken. But Pawan did hurry up the diction a little, and I hope he slows it down for his next show. However, his grasp of (at least the well-known lines of) Shakespeare helped him a lot with his excellent comic timing; the spoof speech on “to act or not to act” brought the house down! And in the one or two places that Pawan did fluff the dialogue a bit, it was as if it was the Actor that was doing it; it didn’t seem out of place.

As the actor faces multiple rejections in each of the reality shows or the productions that he compromises his principles to act in, he breaks down….

One of the most impressive facets of the show was Pawan’s use of props. A chair, Browniel (I hope I have the spelling right!) Funich (“derived from Furniture”) the folding chair, is a character by himself. The Actor has a love-hate relationship with Browniel, and the sequence where the chair and he have an altercation was a great piece of theatre-gymnastics!

Also, I would not have believed earlier that one sheet of white cloth can become: the foliage of a tree,Othello’s cape, Macbeth’s witch’s robes, a soldier’s armour, Banquo’s ghost, Caesar’s shroud, the dead Caesar himself, a trumpet, an actor’s microphone, a plain bed sheet, Gandhi’s spinning mat, a ragpicker’s backpack, and the defendant’s enclosure in a court….truly innovative! Are you not intrigued about how this can be done? Pawan is certainly well-versed in stagecraft and mime.


Two plays,"The Final Rehearsal", and "The Woman in Me", by Pawan Kumar at Ranga Shankara

Pawan Kumar is staging two of his plays, “The Final Rehearsal”, and “The Woman in Me”, at Ranga Shankara ; the first on July 15 and 16 at 7.30pm, and the second on July 17 and 18, at the same time.

“The Final Rehearsal” is a dark comedy about a reality show, which was written in 2002. “The Woman in Me” is about how men look at women, and touches on women’s issues.

Pawan Kumar is also making his mark in writing the story and screenplay for Bollywood movies, and is preparing to direct a Kannada movie in October.

AHA! Theatre festival at Ranga Shankara

Ranga Shankara and DHNiE (Deccan Herald Newspapers in Education) are staging a theatre festival, which will kick off on July15, and will feature a total of 35 shows till the end of August.

The festival starts off with “Gumma Bande Gumma” (an adaptation of the German play, “Max Und Milli”, from July 15 to 18. The play is about a child’s ability to connect to others regardless of adult restrictions.

This play will be followed by “The First Leaf”, written by Padmavati Rao. The play is about Putti, her brothers Dodu and Chinna, and their neighbours, facing the challenges of a middle-class family.


Why I will not go to any play at Chowdiah on weekdays…..

I live in south Bangalore, and there was a time when Chowdiah was *the* venue for all theatre. But, after having gone yesterday (Friday, 11th July 2008) for a play at Chowdiah, I have resolved not to go there again, if it is a weekday. This, of course, is a purely personal decision, but here are the reasons why:

1. First, and foremost…..if I do what most of my fellow-Bangaloreans do and drive a car…..the traffic. No matter how many flyovers and underpasses and magic boxes have been built, the traffic volumes make sure that the roads are so choked in the evening that the vehicles just inch forward in clouds of smoke and roars of revving engines. I do hate sitting in a car which is at idling speed, guzzling petrol, and releasing fumes into the air, along with all the other vehicles doing the same thing.

Yesterday, we *had* to take the car; we left for Chowdiah at 5.45pm…and got back at 11.40 pm. Six hours for a play that ran an hour and a half…not viable, to my mind.


"An Apt Pupil" at Alliance Francaise on the 11th and 12th of July

After a one year hiatus, Merchants of Drama are back with a bigger and better brand-new production!

An Apt Pupil

The play will be staged at the Alliance Francaise (Off Cunningham Road) on the 11th and 12th of July at 7 pm.

For donor passes priced at Rs.100 each, call 99808-62727 or 99002-12387. Else, just login to or mail us at: . Tickets are also available at Crossword on Residency Road and the Alliance Café.


Go and Watch " The Wedding Album"

I guess I conducted my first two “celebrity” interviews….first, Lillette Dubey and then, yesterday evening, Girish Karnad .

Both of them are very articulate people, and having organized my questions well, I got quite a lot of info about them, and wrote a curtain-raiser to go with this “reminder” post for Metblogs, to follow up for the earlier announcement of Girish Karnad’s new play, which is being staged today and tomorrow.

You can see the curtain raiser….

click here to see it

with my photograph of Girish, too.

Here’s another one I took of him yesterday:

This photo comes with its own funny anecdote. For the first photograph, he didn’t smile, so I said, “Just think of ‘The Wedding Album’ and smile!” At this, he looked very startled and asked, “Have you already seen the play?” “No, I said,”why?” “That’s the first line of the play!” he exclaimed. “It’s ‘Think of the wedding and smile a little!’ ”

So do go and watch the play, which promises to be intriguingly interesting! It’s at 7.30 pm both days, at Chowdiah Memorial Hall.

"Wedding Album", a new play by Girish Karnad, directed by Lillette Dubey

I have always appreciated Girish Karnad’s plays, and have watched some of them in many languages…and so it’s a pleasure for me to put up this announcement from IFA about his new play….

Puravankara Presents

Wedding Album

Written by Girish Karnad

Directed by Lillette Dubey

Organised by

and in support of

India Foundation for the Arts

Bangalore – July 10th & 11th, 2008

Time: 7.30 pm, Duration: 90 minutes, Language: English

Venue: Chowdiah Memorial Hall


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