It's all about planning

Updated: 27 October, 2020 09:41 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Catch an online performance at a theatre festival where five friends try to set a lunch date, but life keeps coming in the way

A still from the rehearsal of Lunch Girls
A still from the rehearsal of Lunch Girls

There is a line in the Robert Burns poem, To a Mouse, which reads, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." It insinuates that no matter how meticulously you might plan an event, there is always a chance that external factors will come in the way of how you envisioned things would turn out to be. That seems to be the premise behind a new online performance that is being staged for the first time this weekend, as part of the line-up for the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival. It's called Lunch Girls, and deals with four friends who try to set up a lunch date, except that something or the other keeps coming up and the plan doesn't materialise.

Quasar Thakore Padamsee, who's directed it, tells us that the entire performance consists of a series of 120 phone calls. He says, "It's a modern play in terms of its format, which is in keeping with the current digital age where we have rapid conversations. It also sums up our times since there is nothing more socially distanced than a phone conversation."

Quasar Thakore Padamsee
Quasar Thakore Padamsee

Padamsee adds that the casting process for the performance was interesting since the actors — Bhavna Pani, Dilnaz Irani, Gillian Pinto and Pravishi Das — are based in different cities including Delhi, Pune and Mumbai. He thus had to hold the auditions over Zoom, and says, "I normally have open auditions since you never know what kind of talent will come in through the door. But here, we had to go through a list of people we know, and that was quite a big learning process because I realised that even though we are in touch with a lot of people, there aren't a lot of new people we know."

Either way, the play has now been recreated especially for the digital medium, though Padamsee refrains from terming it as 'theatre'. He explains, "It's a live online performance. We go for a theatrical experience and watch something with other people, which give a sense of community. But here, everyone's watching from their homes, so it is important to keep that distinction in mind."

It's a pertinent point, and something you can take note of before logging on for the weekend performance.

On October 30, 7.30 pm; October 31 and November 1, 3.30 pm
Log on to insider.in
Cost Rs 200

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First Published: 27 October, 2020 09:17 IST

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