Shipwrecked, and loving it

Apr 21, 2014, 08:05 IST | Soma Das

Summer will get an adventurous spin with Jhoom Theatre Group’s latest production, Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont, a play for children and adults

Those who’ve read Robinson Crusoe or in recent times, got hooked on to TV shows, such as Lost, will love the subject of new play, Shipwrecked!

The rehearsals of the play Shipwrecked! PICs/RONAK SAVLA

Jhoom Theatre, a multi-dimensional theatre company working with individuals, schools and corporates, was inspired by the true tale of adventurer Louis de Rougemont (LDR) from the Victorian Era. It is being staged as part of Summertime@Prithvi, which features plays and workshops for children.

Suruchi Aulakh, founder of Jhoom, tells us more, “LDR is a fabulous script written by Donald Marguiles. Deesh Mariwala, the director, had wanted to stage it for a long time. Marguiles writes that LDR’s exploits included surviving a spectacular shipwreck in the South Seas, an attack by a giant octopus, and 30 years among a tribe of cannibals. His serialised story made him famous.”

Aulakh adds that the rise and fall of LDR offers insights into the nature of fame and fabrication. “Here, we are trying to create all the sound effects live on stage – whether it is the sound of wind, horse hooves or the pop of a champagne bottle. Just three actors enact all 26 roles, going through quicksilver changes using minimal props and costumes,” shares Aulakh. While the play is ideal viewing for children, Aulakh adds that adults too will relate to it. “LDR is a play about telling stories.

Good, old-fashioned yarn-telling, which can amuse, entertain and surprise you. It does away with all the wizardry and special effects. The play invites you to step onto a bare stage and let your own imagination do the work. It is written for the child in each one of us,” she assures.

On: April 24 and 25, 12 pm
At: Prithvi theatre, Juhu.
Call: 26149546

More from Jhoom Theatre

The three-year old theatre group hosts Theatre for All workshops and monthly play readings. Later this month, they will host a theatre workshop for the visually impaired participants. They are also in the process of creating Theatre Walks in Mumbai. The company will also stage the Faezej Jajali-directed play, Re-lay, for adults that revolves around sexuality and changing attitudes towards it (April 24-25, 6 pm and 9 pm, Prithvi Theatre). Speaking about the mix, Aulakh reasons, “As an artiste, one is interested in exploring as wide a range of topics as possible. And, theatre allows you to do just that. Our upcoming experimental piece is with artist Rachna Toshniwal on the colour yellow, and it blends theatre with art and movement,” she concludes.

An ode to Shakespeare
The Phoenix Players, a theatre group established in 1984, by Anita Salim and Salim Ghouse, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion and to celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare, they are hosting productions like Doppelganger and Shakespearewallah.

Doppelganger celebrates the wisdom of Mulla Nasruddin while Shakespearewallah is the tale of an old and forgotten actor-clown reminiscing about life and art. ”Our approach is about creating a harmony of the elements, a theatre of economy. Both plays are mirrors of today’s times — the sublime and the ridiculous. Both celebrate theatre that makes us look at ourselves. The issues that they deal with are reflective of the hurly burly of existence,” reveals Ghouse.

He adds that storytelling is the simplest and purest form of theatre. “All great civilizations have had such wonderful traditions, where solo performers regaled the populace with parables, song and dance. Unfortunately, these are dying today due to the advent of diverse forms of technology,” he laments.

On: April 22 (Doppelganger) and April 23 (Shakespearewallah), 9 pm onwards
At: Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.

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