Theatre lovers in the city can sit back and soak in the newest theatre productions across four languages as the annual theatre festival, Centrestage, returns with its fifth edition at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).
A still from an adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspecto
Starting this Friday, 15 plays in Hindi, English, Marathi and Gujarati will premiere at the festival. Each play has a message — some look into the importance of education, changing society for the better and the need to value our culture and arts, others offer a plain yet thoughtful view on little things about relationships and memoirs of one’s journey through life.
Yashwant Singh will be staging his play, Sweet Dreams are Made of These
“The festival is a great platform to premiere plays with a message, especially looking at the variety of the audience that it brings,” says Dipika Roy, director of the play, Take Me Into Your Hands. Roy adds that though the play, written by Slovenian playwright Evald Flisar, is a very delicate production about relationships, it also explores serious topics like promoting education, the importance of poetry, books, and sharing the wisdom gathered in books over years with the new generation.
Carrying a similar message, using comedy instead, is theatre director Manoj Shah’s Popcorn With Parsai, a Hindi play based on Hindi satirist Hari Shankar Parsai. “There are several poets, authors and playwrights in Indian languages, whose work has been exemplary, but they haven’t got their due yet. Popcorn With Parsai is an attempt to introduce one such personality to the current generation,” reveals Shah.
The director, who is part of Centrestage for the third time, says that the play is a comical take off from the works of Parsai, be it his poems, essays or stores.
A few other plays worth mention include an adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector; Inshallah, based on the life and works of theatre personality Satyadev Dubey; Ila, a play inspired by a story from Devdutt Pattanaik’s book, The Pregnant King. Then there’s Yerma, a Kathak interpretation of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s work.
It tells the story of a woman driven by the social and emotional torment of a childless marriage to commit a devastating act. Directed by Amina Khayyam, the play has travelled from the UK for the festival. Also, watch out for Atke Bhatke Latke Sur by director Ashok Mishra, Camera Obscura directed by Vinay Sharma, Happy Birthday Sunita featuring Shabana Azmi and Sweet Dreams Are Made of These by Yashwant Singh.
From: November 28 to December 7 AT NCPA, Nariman Point.
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