Seeds of a movement

Updated: Feb 18, 2020, 09:35 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

A piece of new writing as dramatised reading speaks of masculinity in 1995 Delhi and a familiar fictitious movement

Manoj Choudhary, Saudamini Kalra and Pritesh Bhandary at 
a reading of Seb Ke Beej in Bangalore
Manoj Choudhary, Saudamini Kalra and Pritesh Bhandary at a reading of Seb Ke Beej in Bangalore

For the last six months, city venue Studio Tamaasha has brought to the fore, new Indian writing in the form of dramatised readings. The format is simple — a bunch of actors get together to rehearse a new play, read it aloud and this is followed by a discussion and feedback session with the playwright. This time, Mumbai and Goa-based Saudamini Kalra's Seb Ke Beej is the choice.

Set in 1995 Delhi, the play with an all-male cast explores the lives of a few men and the concept of masculinity in that milieu. A movement runs parallel, one where young men come together in workout spaces and gymnasiums to talk about their issues. It is a newly emerging capitalist economy, unions are disappearing and men are troubled. "They all know they feel a certain way but can't put a finger on it," says Saudamini Kalra who scripted the play as part of a five-month long Ideas Lab programme by Bangalore-based Indian Ensemble.

Sunil Shanbag
Sunil Shanbag

If the story has a familiar ring to it and it is Fight Club you remember, she admits she started out writing in hope of adapting Chuck Palhanuik's acclaimed novel. A third element of the plot involves the story of Paul Gomra (a character borrowed from noted writer Uday Prakash's story Paul Gomra ka Scooter) whose only dream is to own a Bajaj scooter. He ends up joining the movement and finds new meaning.

New Writing session in progress
New Writing session in progress

Seb Ke Beej has previously been presented as a dramatised reading in October last year, in Bangalore. The Mumbai version is directed by Sunil Shanbag who believes "the focus must remain on the text." As such, he says, "It takes four to five rehearsals since a play isn't easy to read. There's a bit of drama to it; no props or costumes. It isn't an interpretation but a way to make sense of the play. It is the purest form of experiencing a play," he adds.

On February 29, 7 pm
At Studio Tamaasha, 602 Samartha Vaibhav, Milat Nagar Road, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri West.
Call 9004609272
Log on to bookmyshow.com
Cost Rs 100

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