Scene by scene

Published: Nov 04, 2012, 08:33 IST | Phorum Dalal |

As if to make up for a two-year gap, the ongoing Prithvi Festival is packed with 41 theatrical performances, acoustic jams, informal acts and even a carnival on the last day

On Tuesday, on an almost wintry afternoon, I walked into the 37 year-old Prithvi Theatre at Juhu. A light, warm breeze wafted into the open cafeteria. In walked some workers from a corner, with gunny bags on their heads. Two more workers stood, having a ponderous discussion over tally sheets of all the repairworks they’d conducted.

In another corner, two marketing guys — unaware of the lull before the storm (read the Prithvi Festival) — were chatting. Their conversation went something like this — “Client ko creative bheja hai, dekhte hai kya hota hai. Main office nahi aa raha. Ab mein ghar ko kulti maroonga.”

Dressed in faded red pants and a grey tee, Kunal Kapoor, the man behind the return of the festival after a two-year long hiatus, enters the cafe. He looks tired, but not exhausted.

The much-loved fortnight-long theatre festival gave the city a miss in 2010 and 2011 due to a funds crunch and repair works, but it’s back now.

 “One can practically live here during the festival,” Kapoor tells us, adding that after finding it tough to get sponsors, he decided to celebrate the spirit of Prithvi Theatre (PT) by roping in fraternity and production houses that regularly perform with Prithvi Theatre.


 “There is no need for a theme, we are celebrating Prithvi Theatre,” he says, when I ask him if this return centres around a particular idea.

During the two weeks, 41 performances by 29 productions will be performed, along with Acoustic Jams — raw music performances — informal performances, exhibitions and a one-day carnival on the last day, which includes an amalgamation of assorted performances through the day. The artistes include Utkarsh Mazumdar, Lubna Salim, Alyque Padamsee, Makrand Deshpande and Nadira Babbar.

“Acoustic Jam has been a regular feature at the theatre and it is beautiful work. Often, it makes artistes nervous as there is no electronic back up to their voices,” he says.

Five days ago, Kapoor was craving sleep, while worrying about the smooth completion of festival preparations, including urgent repairs, cleaning, invitations, ticketing and rehearsals. Walk into Prithvi today, and you’ll see the end product — a great place to introduce yourself to theatre if you’re a beginner, or an opportunity for old hands to soak themselves in artistic pleasures.  

There’s more
November 4
A Walk in the Woods
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 5
Ok Tata, Bye, Bye
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 6
Hard Places (A)
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 7
Begum Jaan
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 8
Zinga Zinga Roses
At: 11 pm
Aaj Rang Hai
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 9
Between the Lines (write about it)
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
November 10
Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon
At: 6 pm and 9 pm
For full schedule, log on to 

Acoustic jams
November 4, 11 am: Vivienne Unplugged: Ashu (piano/guitar), Vivienne Pocha (vocal), Adrian D’Souza (percussion), Kenny Rebello (base), Vinay Lobo (acoustic guitar), Ramon Ibrahim (trombone/melodica)
November 11, 11am:
Surya: Taufiq Qureshi (percussion), Mumbai stamp and folk singers (percussion/vocal), Sanjay Divecha (acoustic guitar), Geetika Varde (vocal), Sonia Parchure (dance), Sarang Kulkarni (sarod)
November 18, 11 am:
Niladri Kumar (sitar), Louis Banks (piano), Gino Banks (drums), Aditya Kalyanpur (tabla) 

Between the Lines (1 hour, 45 minutes)
Cast: Nandita Das and Subodh Maskara
the play: Presented by Chhoti productions, the play will be staged in English and Hindi. The play, which is based on a script by Purushottam Agarwal and directed by Nandita Das, explores the relationship between a lawyer couple who have been married for 10 years. One day, they end up arguing on opposite sides of a criminal trial, resulting in the blurring of their personal and professional lives.
On: November 9, 6 pm & 9 pm  

Sir Sir Sarla (2 hours, 15 mins)
Cast: Makrand Deshpande, Aahana Kumra, Sanjay Dadhich, Faizal Rashid, Romi Jaspal
the play: Written by Makrand Deshpande, this is a story of a professor and his students, after they have graduated. Sarla’s (played by Aahana Kumra), memory manifests itself into reality; Phanidhar (played by Sanjay Dadhich), and Sir (played by Makrand Deshpande) are caught in a tornado of emotions.
On: November 13, 5 pm and 8 pm 

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