Let's talk about love

Sep 16, 2018, 11:01 IST | A Correspondent

A new play, inspired from three short stories, takes us into a cafe and chat room, to unravel the romantic conflict between couples

Let's talk about love
Actors during a rehearsal of the play

Not too long ago, writer and playwright Avantika Shankar had staged a play, which took the audience into the lives of two couples, who meet at a high-end café in South Bombay. Like their gilded surroundings, the couples — one young and old — seem hopelessly out of place in the world they live in, and start to unravel their inhibitions, showing us how romance is not necessarily a fairytale, and probably a lot more ludicrous than most people like to believe. Now, Mahesh Dattani has come on board with another cyber romance story, The Reading, to ooze new life into the play.

Avantika Shankar and Mahesh Dattani
Avantika Shankar and Mahesh Dattani

In its new avatar, the play, titled Dance Me to the End of Love, will waltz you across Shankar's quirky café, before beaming you through cyber space and book readings with Dattani's work. "It all started with Avantika, who had written a series of plays on young and old people dating. Two of these stories, The Date and the Dated, were extremely delightful and had previously been staged together. I thought why not take these two works, and weave it along with another short story about a Facebook romance between two men, which I had written for the Indian Quarterly around five years ago," says Dattani.

Dattani says that since his "cyber romance didn't spatially fit into Shankar's plot that opens in a café", he had to stylise it differently. "The romance here is between two older people and so it's still very traditional. I have not made many changes to the original, except added a reference to Snapchat, may be," adds the Sahitya Akademi award winner.

What Dattani finds interesting about cyber love is that the "starting point is not the body, but words". "It's probably not love at first sight, it's more like love at first mail or chat," he ends. The two writers
will also engage with the audience in an hour-long interaction before the play.

WHEN: 6.30 pm onwards
WHERE: Harkat Studios, Bungalow, 75, JP Road, Versova, Andheri West
ENTRY: Rs 350
TO BOOK: in.bookmyshow.com

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