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"Producing is for money while directing is for fun"

He’s toyed with the idea of directing a play for nine years, but it’s only now that Ashvin Gidwani, the production brain behind popular plays such as Monkey Business, Funny Thing Called Love, Double Deal and Walking on Broken Das, has finally embarked on his wish that was buried beneath production deadlines and money matters. Gidwani has now begun work on his debut directorial venture, titled The Scent Of A Man, which will be staged in Mumbai in the first week of November.


Ash Chandler and Bhavna Pani in a still from the play

Explaining his procrastination as far as direction is concerned, Gidwani says, “My time spent as a producer, and running Ashvin Gidwani Productions (AGP) as a business allows very little time to create and evolve my passion to direct. I have been toying with this concept and plot for nine years.” Set in present day Mumbai, The Scent Of A Man is an adult comedy on lust, lies and infidelity. The action centres on two married couples -- Nikhil, a successful advertising executive and his intelligent, but slightly neurotic wife Mallika and Tupperware lady Ananya and her husband Partho, a teacher.

“This adult domestic comedy will have you in splits from curtain up to curtain down and it won’t be long before you start to recognise characters and situations that may have appeared in your own life as the action unravels and reaches a crescendo in the love-quadrilateral gone awry,” assures Gidwani, sharing that the cast includes Ash Chandler, Suchitra Pillai, Deven Khote and Bhavna Pani.

But when quizzed about how comfortable will the Indian audience be with an adult play, the debutant director was quick to rebut the general notion. He clarifies, “After the advent of stand-up comedy, the audience is ready for anything that is intelligently funny.” Gidwani also mentions that he feels that heis here to entertain and give the audiences an opportunity tolaugh at situations that we treat so seriously in our relationships. “I am exploiting every emotion to give life a lighter hue,”he adds.

So, was essaying the new role tough, we dig further, “Balancing between running a business and my directional piece was challenging. It required strong will, discipline, a good team and supportive professional actors. The script took time but we worked relentlessly with it. Then came the auditions and thereafter the stage craft to weave together an explosive comedy pack,” he lays down.

Finally, when we prodded on what does he enjoy more, production or direction, Gidwani’s reply was quite straightforward -- “Producing is for money while directing is for fun.” 

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