Running a successful theatre company for a quarter of a century is no easy task and calls for a big celebration. Theatre director and actor Lilette Dubey’s Primetime theatre company is celebrating its silver anniversary by hosting a festival featuring some of their most successful plays. The festival will also include two new plays, of which, Dubey will stage one for children called, The Dancing Donkey, for the first time.
Moments from the rehersals of The Dancing Donkey. Pics/Suresh K Karkera
In between juggling her frenetic schedule and multiple rehearsals, mid-day managed to snatch some time with Dubey over the phone, where she said she felt her métier was adult theatre. "I have been contemplating reaching out to newer audiences and experimenting with the children’s space seemed a natural decision," she said.
The Dancing Donkey is a one-act play by the late French theatre actor-director Leon Chanceral. The story revolves around two rascals who steal a donkey from a man and try to con him to buy it back from them. Dubey said she chose to do this play because it’s an absolutely delightful romp with no boundaries and inspired by the Commedia dell’arte tradition.
The look of the play has been kept simple. "There are no trapdoors and flying witches or a grand spectacle. We wanted children to use their imagination and minds." The music has been composed by Omkar Patel and though, they aren’t calling it a musical, it has around eight songs.
Dubey said that she was totally unencumbered when she began work on the play and her small guiding light was Charlie Chaplin. "This play has made me feel very liberated because I haven’t been boxed into any genre, even the actors have been given plenty of freedom to interpret their roles the way they want to," she added. While the play has been created for children, Dubey hopes that anyone who has a child in them will come to watch it. "It would be wonderful to spot grandparents trotting in with their grandchildren. This play is for everyone."
On: January 16 and 17, 11 am; January 23, 11 am and 7.30 pm; January 24, 11 am
At: Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
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Lilette Dubey's Primetime Theatre Co. turned 25 this year (Read more)