It’s been a while since we saw Tanishaa Mukerji and Madhoo Shah light up the big screen. But now, it seems the ladies have discovered a love for theatre. The two actors will be part of Divya Palat’s play The Verdict.
The play, that also stars Dalip Tahil, Vivaan Bhatena and Aditya Hitkari, is a courtroom drama. Palat, who had made the play based on Ayn Rand’s play, Night of January 16th, 10 years ago, has re-written it to suit the modern times. “In today’s day and age, people watch shows such as Criminal Minds and CSI, so I had to make it relevant to the times. I’ve changed the witnesses around, changed the type of murder and added elements like forensic evidence and DNA testing,” Palat explains.
A dead man and a courtroom drama between the man’s wife and mistress -- no wonder the theatre debutantes are so excited about being a part of it. Mukerji, who plays the mistress in the play, says, “When Divya approached me for the play, I was apprehensive as I’ve never done theatre, but she told me it’s based on Ayn Rand’s play, who happens to be my favourite author, and I was sold.” In Shah’s case, she had been toying with the idea of doing theatre but was waiting for the right moment. “A lot of theatre actors I know have been telling me what an amazing experience it is to be on stage. So when Divya called me and asked if I would like to do a play with her, I immediately agreed,” she says.
The interactive play has the audience playing the jury at the end and giving a ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ verdict. “We pick 11 people from the audience and ask them for their verdict. So depending on their verdict, the corresponding ending is depicted,” says Palat. This also means that the actors have to be on their toes, making it a bigger challenge for the newcomers.
Says Mukerji, “It’s also challenging because the rest are all seasoned theatre actors and they keep improvising. So it’s all about timing.” Palat too, is all praises for the actors. “I wanted a firebrand actress for this role, which Mukerji is. The audience won’t come with any pre-conceived notion,” she says. As for Shah, Palat believes she is somebody who brings a lot of sensitivity to the role she is playing. Looks like The Verdict will not just see the audience delivering their verdict on the play, but on these actors as well.