Insulated from Ground Reality

The play conflates its ostensible focus on ex-criminal tribes with the problems that beset Dalits as a whole which, given the narrative that is emerging post the murder of Chindaki, is not entirely a departure. The tribal question and the caste question can be still tackled together.

Ishq Aaha

In a self-referential moment, Ms Saraf complains about her limited part, and is promptly cast as Punnu, but it would seem that Sassi remains a giggly damsel in distress for perpetuity. But this is meta theatre that works. The play makes several such nods to female empowerment, which sometimes smacks of tokenism. But it is…

The Paradox of Mass Hypnosis

These are not pathetic clowns with great sad eyes or little dawdling duck-like movements, working up a lather of emotion for the whole dichotomy of a clown’s existence, ever ready to shoot upwards into bathos. No, we don’t have crying clowns here. Bonhomie is the creed. No circus clowns either, with large red noses or…

Quasar Thakore Padamsee on Mother Courage

An interview with Quasar Thakore Padamsee, in which the director talks about his latest work with Aadyam — a production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children You’ve added the tag line, Everybody Loves a Good War. The irony seems almost self-explanatory. Toral (Shah) suggested it (It’s a reference to P Sainath’s book). I think…

Notes on Chai

These little pockets of urban desolation include many women, but Notes on Chai is not in essence a gender-piece (to follow a current trend in Indian theatre). Here, human follies take centrestage rather than the baggage of male privilege or the spectre of feminine victimhood.

Bin Kamache Samvad

The play concerns itself with the breakdown of language and discourse, and how a herd mentality appears to be emphasized in communities online, stringing together a series of set-pieces that are little more than non-sequiturs, and flit in and out of the vacuous preoccupations of India’s post-millenials.

Thoda Dhyaan Se in Mumbai

Mallika Taneja’s Thoda Dhyaan Se is set to be performed at Mumbai’s Sitara Studio on Mar 10, as part of a special programme commemorating International Women’s Day. Last year, she completed a seven-show whirlwind tour in September. Here are some glimpses from those outings. All photographs are by Punit Reddy. Click on any photograph to […]

Namit Das: Music in His Veins

An archival interview with Namit Das, in which the actor-singer of the Mumbai stage looks back at his musical legacy. What are your earliest memories of music? My earliest memories take me back to Mahim, to the house where we used to stay, Makrand Seh Niwas. It was the first house we had shifted into, as…

Sankar Venkateswaran’s Tage der Dunkelheit

It is the last day of the decisive battle of the Mahabharata. As storms sweep over the battlefield, it rains rocks, vultures circle in the sky and rivers flow in the wrong direction. These are ominous portents for the last struggle for succession to the throne of Kuru. In the decisive battle, it is finally…

Caryl Churchill’s Far Away

A young girl far away from home wakes up in the middle of the night. She has heard the sound of someone screaming. Perhaps, her aunt tells her, it was only an owl. But it isn’t an owl, and the girl’s life will never be the same again. Caryl Churchill’s brief but chilling play depicts…

Naked Voices

Being a director, it’s not very easy for me to collaborate with another director in the capacity of a scenographer. However, collaborating with Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry is different. I adore the clarity of her thoughts and the provocative critical positions that she courageously takes in her work. This I find extraordinary. Last year we did…