Class act watch and converse with theatre-greats

Apr 19, 2013, 05:46 IST | Kanika Sharma

Mumbai theatre stalwart Alyque Padamsee will deliver two thought-provoking plays � Broken Images and Death of A Salesman at NCPA this weekend. These classic productions with refreshing performances beckon you to earmark your calendars

Alyque Padamsee hits the nerve by adapting two classic scripts — Broken Images by Girish Karnad and the classic script of Death of A Salesman; that spell out building paranoia, stress and meaninglessness of identity in today’s day and age.

The first is a psychological thriller featuring Shabana Azmi in a consummating performance as the protagonist Manjula Sharma. The script covers the journey of a mediocre Hindi writer (Azmi) who attempts to write in English and gains much fame and popularity. Alyque Padamsee himself will render Arthur Miller’s oft-performed play in the lead along with the “stupendous” Sabira Merchant who will investigate the aspirations of the middle class.

Shabana Azmi as Manjula Sharma in Broken Images

Raell Padamsee, daughter of Alyque Padamsee and Director of Ace Productions, says, “Broken Images recently completed its platinum jubilee recently. Both plays, which have been directed by my father, are iconic in their own way. It’s great that such serious and important writing gets a repeat audience many times over.”

Looking back at the feat Broken Images has accomplished, she recalls, “It was so strange, the other day, this lady came up to dad and myself when we were in Khar and said: I saw your play Broken Images and I remember it, even today, when I think of it I get goose bumps. We were so happy and I asked her where did she see the play and she answered Singapore! So, Broken Images has really made an impact on people across the world.”

A scene from Death of A Salesman

Raell Padamsee also shares, the special place Miller’s Pulitzer-winning play has for her, “This play is extremely memorable as it has been staged several times in the past. My mother Pearl first directed it in the 1960s. Later my father, Alyque directed it twice in the 1970s and 80s and now, he has re-directed this production for the third time in January 2013.”

On the note of repeats as original performances in themselves, she shares, “Alyque manages to make changes at every show of Death of a Salesman, so no two shows are the same for the actor, or the audience.” Commenting on an element that is new and worth looking forward to, she divulges, “We have introduced a Q & A session with Shabana Azmi post the show on stage where the audience can interact and pose questions to the actor and the director.”

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