Inside this year's Prithvi Festival
Here's a look at the best to catch at Mumbai's iconic theatre festival back in its 36th year
In 1983, my mother organised the first festival celebrating Prithvi Theatre’s fifth birthday, which included the best performances from five years," says Kunal Kapoor, trustee, Prithvi Theatre. The theatre was built four decades ago in memory of Indian theatre and cinema veteran, Prithviraj Kapoor, by his son and daughter-in-law, Shashi and Jennifer Kapoor. "The festival is an annual event held on Prithvi Theatre’s birthday, and we pick performances of interest to all ages," he adds about the fest that allows anyone six years onwards into the venue.
Makarand Deshpande in Ram
Spread across 11 days, it will take place between its namesake theatre venue in Juhu, Royal Opera House in Girgaum, and G5A, Mahalaxmi. Theatregoers can enjoy performances directed by Naseeruddin Shah, Piyush Mishra, Makarand Deshpande, Danish Husain and Faezeh Jalali at the main venues; along with experimental plays at Prithvi House and G5A."We have an interesting line-up that’s a mix of traditional, modern and experimental, along with music performances and talks. Directors wait to premiere their productions through the year at the festival."
This year’s event opens with a performance by Gurdas Mann at Prithvi Theatre on November 1. Plays to look out for through both the weekends are Naseeruddin Shah’s Hindustan Chhod Do and Toba Tek Singh (starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Manoj Pahwa and Saba Azad). The first looks at what Hindustan meant to the nation during Independence, while the second is a horrific reimagining of Partition. There’s also Makarand Deshpande’s Ram, which tells the story of a vagabond thrown out of a temple proclaiming Lord Ram has come to visit him…and the pandemonium that ensues; along with Danish Husain’s Untitled #1, which portrays a rogue author in a dystopian world where the written word is under surveillance.
In between shows, you can catch platform performances outside the venue. The Symphony Orchestra of India will return for their seventh consecutive concert with new resident conductor, Mikel Toms. Performing on the closing night of November 11 at Prithvi, the programme will include musical works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
What: Prithvi Festival 2019
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Royal Opera House and G5A
When: November 1-11
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