9 multi-lingual plays set to premiere at Mumbai theatre fest's eighth edition

Updated: Nov 22, 2017, 10:43 IST | Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari | Mumbai

Eight years into its multi-lingual theatre festival of premiering plays, NCPA's Centrestage is back. The upcoming edition will be a 10-day affair, where some of the best theatre groups from across the country will stage their acts

Eight years into its multi-lingual theatre festival of premiering plays, NCPA's Centrestage is back. The upcoming edition will be a 10-day affair, where some of the best theatre groups from across the country will stage their acts. The festival has a line-up of nine premiering plays, in English, Hindi and Gujarati, put together by esteemed names from the world of theatre, including Ila Arun, Kaizad Gustad, Meher Mistry, Pritesh Sodha, Isheeta Ganguly and Anuvab Pal, among others.

Shabd - Leela (Hindi)
Cast Rajeshwari Sachdev, Varun Badola, KK Raina, Ila Arun
Experimental Theatre, November 25, 7 pm
Directed by KK Raina, Shabd - Leela is a dramatic reading of author Dharamvir Bharati's works, Kanupriya and Andha Yug, and the love letters from his book Ek Sahityik Ke Prem Patra. "We tried to examine the relationship between the writer's personal and creative worlds, and how one cannot exist without the other. Through the reading of the letters, Andha Yug and Kanupriya, one can witness the co-relation," says Arun.

Dr. Anandibai - Like, Comment, Share (Gujarati)
Cast Manasi Joshi
Godrej Dance Theatre, Dec 2, 5 pm
Director Manoj Shah tells the story of Anandibai Joshi, India's first female physician. Despite the patriarchal conventions that prevailed in the 1880s, she travelled to America to get her MD degree in 1886.

I, Cloud (English/Hindi)
Cast Mayur Puri, Shudhi Ramani, Subhojeet Das
Godrej Dance Theatre, Nov 26, 5 pm
Written and directed by Ulka Mayur, I, Cloud uses the matrix of Kalidas' Meghdoot, but spins a new tale set in the future. "It is a fast-paced ride of thrill, humour, intrigue, sci-fi and music. With eclectic characters - a virtual cloud, mysterious woman and prisoner - I, Cloud makes a statement about social media fixations and freedom of thought," says the director. The poems of Puri, who is also a lyricist, feature in the play.

Less Than Zero (English/gibberish)
Cast Yashwant Singh, Salone Mehta, Nandita Dubey
Godrej Dance Theatre, November 25, 5 pm
Written and directed by Kaizad Gustad, Less Than Zero is a satire on being alive. "It's about a man called Zero, and two stubborn angels who descend from heaven to keep him company. He has a lot of existential angst, so they work with him to sort out his issues. It's a biting comedy told in English and gibberish," says Gustad.

Bawra Mann (Gujarati)
Cast Namrata Pathak, Chetan Dhanani, Pooja Damania
Experimental Theatre, December 1, 7 pm
It's about two lovers. "The personification of their respective minds depicts the interpersonal conflict an individual goes through during the different phases of a relationship," says the play's director, Mihir Rajda. The production promises to be a dramatic, thoughtful and hilarious take on love.

Also catch

Lucrece (English)
Cast Lucy Briggs-Owen, Meher Mistry
Experimental Theatre, Dec 3, 7 pm
Directed by Paul Goodwin, it's a dramatic adaptation of William Shakespeare's 1594 narrative poem, The Rape Of Lucrece. It can only be attended by patrons aged 16 and above.

Sundays with Chitra & Chaitali (English)
Cast Ira Dubey, Mahnaz Damania, Barbie Chakraborty
Experimental Theatre, Nov 26, 7 pm
Written and directed by Isheeta Ganguly, the play is inspired by the character of Chitra from Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada and Chaitali from the Mahabharata. Both are in love with men who haven't committed to them. Over four successive Sundays, they share with each other the quirks, tribulations and inanities of their relationships.

Mara Asatya Na Prayogo: My Experiments With Lies (Gujarati)
Cast Paresh Vora
Godrej Dance Theatre, Dec 3, 5 pm
Directed by Pritesh Sodha and written by Jayanti Patel, this Gujarati monologue is about how an honest Indian is often perceived as crooked. "We try to unearth the question why, in today's times, one needs to lie to know the truth. We feel the word LOL means lie out loud," says Patel.

Log on to: ncpamumbai.com

Brit connect
A highlight of the festival is a live podcast on December 2, featuring British podcaster Andy Zaltsman, known for the comedy podcast, The Bugle, which he started with John Oliver. The Bugle will be brought to India for the first time. Zaltsman, along with Indian comedians Anuvab Pal and Daniel Fernandes, will entertain the audience via a video conference.

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