Theatreatti take on the hourglass
Pooling the talent of seasoned as well as rookie actors, directors and script-writers to showcase 20 short plays, The Primetime Theatre Company presents the Mumbai edition of the Short+Sweet festival that's designed to keep you at the edge of your seat
It's like flipping channels on the remote control every ten minutes so the adrenaline gush prompted by CSI is chased with Simon Cowell's wit and then softened by the emotional drama of a reality show. Twenty different plays, presenting multi-layered characters in a chain of plots, will give you pause for thought, move you to tears, have you split your sides laughing, and then take you through the entire gamut of emotions all over again. The Primetime Theatre Company's newest baby, Short+Sweet is designed to grip even the most attention-deficient spectator.
The cast and crew members from Short+Sweet
But what artistic director of the Mumbai edition of Sweet+Short, Ira Dubey, is most excited about is the platform the show provides for young talent to showcase their skill. "The idea of 10-minute theatre, and the diverse range of topics that could be tackled in this format, was very exciting for me," she tells us, adding, "For me this was a return to a very pure form of theatre where the focus is not on gimmicks or elaborate sets but actually on the scripts and the skills of the actors and directors." Telling us how hard it is to draw, "the sms-generation," to theatre, Dubey is optimistic about this project.
Veteran actor Meeta Vashishth is just as excited about One Wish, the mini play, she's directing for the festival. Careful not to give away too much, Vashishth shares only that, "One Wish is extremely well written and it's a funny, witty look at what it means to be a young person today, surrounded by myriad influences, income disparities and insecurities."
He and She, directed by Utkarsh Mazumdar and performed by actors Satchit Puranik and Anasuya Sengupta, centres around the dialogue between a boy and girl. Mazumdar is happy to reveal, "There's nothing typical about this couple that is on the verge of tying the knot. While they're very much in love and perfectly compatible, in an emotional confession, it is revealed that the guy, in fact, used to be a girl." This isn't the only bizarre revelation in the comic script with which VK Aarthi Menon makes her debut as a playwright.
Actor Shivani Tanksale's play strikes a more sombre note. She's directing Shruti Vyas' Main Thak Gaya Hoon. Tanksale describes it as "a very emotional drama based on the true story of a poor man, who was arrested because his brother ran off with an under-aged girl. The play traces his time behind bars. There are undercurrents of corruption while the play exposes how everyone's all set to take advantage of each other's situations."
Also directing for the festival is Akvarious Productions' Akarsh Khurana, who is directing two plays for the festival -- Pre-Coital, written by Satchit Puranik from Mumbai and Because The World Needs Unicorns by Australian Cerise de Gelder. Khurana tells us that Puranik's play centres on an intimate and personal yet witty, tongue-in-cheek conversation between a bride to be and her mehendiwali while the second play, which has Noah conversing with a unicorn, "is an out and out comedy. It's a very funny piece in the fantasy space."
On: October 2 to 9, 7 pm
At: Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Log on to: www.ncpamumbai.com for the schedule