Upcoming play explores the contradictions and conflicts of living in Mumbai

Rutuja Nagwekar in Striptease, Raghav Srivastava as Freakyboy, Lopamudra Mohanty in Devi and Shoumik Saxena in Silence
Rutuja Nagwekar in Striptease, Raghav Srivastava as Freakyboy, Lopamudra Mohanty in Devi and Shoumik Saxena in Silence

"This city is a matrix," says playwright and director Zubin Driver. "We all live through traffic jams, adverse weather conditions, we all face opposition and conflict, and are driven by ambition. We lead separate lives, but we experience similar things. It is this city that has made us who we are and thus, ensures we are always connected to each other."

Living in Mumbai comes fraught with unique challenges. It is these stories that form the crux of Driver's upcoming play, Mumbai vs Mumbai. "What interests me as a theme is that we are living on the edge and at the same time, surviving and thriving in Mumbai. It's a contradiction," he adds.

Zubin Driver
Zubin Driver

Mumbai vs Mumbai comprises six monologues, each performed by different actors talking about different themes. Car Song features Jaydeep Shetty, the CEO of a fashion house, playing a grumpy old man caught up in a cycle of traffic jams. "He lives his life in his car, metaphorically, surrounded by steel and engines. This piece explores social isolation too — you may be surrounded by hundreds of people in a traffic jam, yet you are trapped in your own car, alone," adds Driver. Shetty will also perform a piece called Spider, about a TV anchor that has been breaking news for so many years, he has started believing in the hype that he peddles.

Theatre artiste Rutuja Nagwekar does the lone Marathi monologue (she translated her piece from English) called Striptease. The subject here is the sexualisation and objectification of women is now a given in society. It is embedded in people's lives and no one knows how to fight it any more. Storyteller Lopamudra Mohanty plays a housewife turned Kali bhakt in Devi. "She is a housewife who is tired of her humdrum life and then goes through an exorcism. A devi comes out of her and helps her to navigate the world," shares Driver.

In Freaky Boy, theatre artiste Raghav Srivastava performs a political piece that touches upon the totalitarian nature of capitalism — how capitalism gives you the illusion of choice. Theatre actor Shoumik Saxena celebrates silence in his piece. "This city gives you these sudden and short-lived moments of silence. These are rare and thus should be celebrated," says Driver. The stories are sourced from Driver's book Falling Indians, released in September last year. This is the second staging of the play; it was first performed in 2013 with a different cast.

On February 24, 8 pm
At The Cuckoo Club, Bandra (W).
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Cost Rs 300

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