The venue is Ahlam Khan Karachiwala’s mother’s bungalow’s terrace in Bandra and the occasion, a rehearsal for the play Pereira’s Bakery at 76 Chapel Road. With nine actors at one place, there’s bound to be confusion and more, but like actor-director Zafar Karachiwala explains, the group is like a well-oiled machine. As they prepared for their ninth show to take place this Saturday, CS took a look at what happens behind the stage:
A look at Mumbai
Describing the play as “full of fun, cake, comedy and crackpots” Zafar says that the play revolves around Vincent Pereira, a baker who takes on developers who want to demolish his chawl to make way for Asia’s biggest shopping mall. Along with his daughter and his motley collection of neighbours, he embarks on a campaign to save his home and his livelihood. “It’s an issue that’s quite relatable. A lot of people are coming to watch the play as it’s about their city,” he says.
At 9 pm, the group takes a break for some chai-coffee. Sohrab Ardeshir, who plays an old colonel says that it’s an “absolute delight” to work with this cast. “Working together in a play is always a process of camaraderie, and specially with this group as we have to portray a group of people who’ve been together for years,” he says.
All in the family
For Zafar’s wife Ahlam, playing Annie was a challenge since, “it is the simplest and that makes it the most difficult to play,” she says. As for Zafar himself, she’s all praises. “He is patient, cool and unfazed by most things,” she says. But being a director’s wife has its downside as well. “My rehearsals end way after everyone else’s because I get notes all the way home. And sometimes, even in the middle of the night!” she laughs.