15 new multilingual plays will open as part of a theatre festival next week

Updated: Nov 17, 2016, 12:05 IST | Suprita Mitter |

While the press preview of the seventh edition of NCPA’s Centrestage was slightly underwhelming because of a no-show from many performers, the spirit of the festival continues to be warm and inviting

An earlier show of White Rabbit Red Rabbit
Facial, Pedicures and Mind Masala. Pics/Sneha Kharabe

While the press preview of the seventh edition of NCPA’s Centrestage was slightly underwhelming because of a no-show from many performers, the spirit of the festival continues to be warm and inviting. Though chairman Khushroo Suntook also made a joke about not having addressed such a large audience before, glimpses of a wide genre of plays including comedy, drama, romance, social drama, stand-up acts promised to be an entertaining watch.

Anuvab Pal in Life at 40
Anuvab Pal in Life at 40

The stage came alive with actor Rama Joshi’s earnest performance in a scene from a slice-of-life Marathi play titled Absolute. Directed by Mandar Deshpande and written by Yougandhar Deshpande, the play explores the meaning of connections, existence, search, reasons, disconnect and the search for the absolute. Director Meherzaad Patel who said he prided himself in being called an “upcoming talent” at the festival, a few years ago, is set to present his play, The Relationship Agreement which offers an insight into the lives of a couple who gets into an agreement before getting married in the play. The comedy features a bunch of crazy conditions that a couple put out before committing to each other.

Divya Jagdale and Tannishtha Chatterjee have livewire-like chemistry on stage as they enact the conversations between two women in a beauty parlour, in the play Facial, Pedicures and Mind Masala. Written by Jagdale, the conversations steer clear of stereotypes associated with feminism and broach subjects that are related and completely unrelated to women.

The play Raat Na Aaye, based on Eugine O’Neil’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, offers a look at the hypocrisy in family and true love through the story of a family devastated by its own memories. If the moving performance by Rashika Agashe is anything to go by, this piece is worth a dekko. Director/actor Danish Hussain appeared on stage twice in two interesting and different performances. In Phir Se Shaadi, the audience witnesses the humorous quest of a girl who is looking to re-marry her husband after a talaaq. But due to tradition, before they can do that she needs to find another man who will marry her and give her a talaaq. Hussain plays the professor who marries her but then refuses to divorce her as agreed upon. In Qissebaazi, an amalgamation of storytelling and theatre with multiple performances, each presented in two languages, (one used as the core language and the other as a bridge) Hussain wows again. Our pick was stand up comic Anuvab Pal, who had us in splits with a glimpse of his act Life at 40, narrating hilarious stories from his life as a stand up comic.

On: November 25 to December 4
At: NCPA, Nariman Point
Call: 66223754
For full schedule: log on to www.ncpamumbai.com

Dohri Zindagi
Dohri Zindagi 

Also catch
>> Naribai, by Sushmita Mukherjee introduces us to the dramatic change that takes place in the life of her estranged friend Sunaina when she meets up with a Bedhni performer of Bundelkhand called Naribai. 

>> In Isheeta Ganguly’s Shakuntala Awaits, a modern-day Shakuntala and Dushyant meet in Mumbai and are later transported to Cambridge

>> A multi-lingual production, Dohri Zindagi directed by Gurleen Judge, is a love story in a homophobic society.

>> Pankaj Kapur’s Dreamz-Sehar captures life in a dream, reality and imagination.

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