Its Play Time

For those who know me well are aware that I am a complete entertainment buff. I am always game for watching even the crappiest lot of Bollywood/Hollywood movies and will sit thru even the dullest of stage shows.

But what really gets my fancy are Stage Plays. An important factor responsible for my theatre fascination is the fact that I live just two blocks from Prithvi Theatre in other words the Mecca for stage artists and enthusiasts.

Prithvi Theatre has been responsible for showcasing the best plays by theatre groups from all over India and is affiliated with well-known personalities of the Theatre world. Actors/writers like Kay Kay Menon, Makrand Deshpande, Imtiaz Ali, etc. consider the experience gained as a theatre artist and the time spent at Prithvi to be the main reason for their success today.

In the recent times, thanks to involvement from the corporate world loads of theatre groups have been able to get over the financial hurdle to some extent but on the other hand some have had to compromise on their aesthetics qualities in other to fit in their sponsor’s interests.

And then there are some theatre groups who exist only for the sake of Art, who are not willing to sacrifice their basic aim even if it means letting go off big bucks and commercial success however they do end up winning our hearts and admiration. From the current set of known theatre groups, Aranya seems to fall under the above category.

Formed in 1993, Aranya consists of a group of friends all bringing their own set of knowledge and experience from the theatre world. Till date they have produced three well-known plays, they are Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane, Peele Scooterwala Aadmi and this year, Bali Aur Shambhu.

I have been lucky enough to see all the three plays. All the three are very much different from one another and focus on different aspects of an individual’s life. Though it would be really hard to pick a favorite but I would say that Peele Scooterwala Aadmi is the one that I was able to relate to quite easily.

Stills from Peela Scooterwala Aadmi

Peele Scooterwala Aadmi is Written and Directed by Manav Kaul and is Produced by Tushar Raut. It stars well known actors like Kumud Mishra, Satyajit Sharma and Manav Kaul.

It’s basically about a young man is trying to write, but unanswered questions from his life keep haunting him. The play explores his inner struggle as a writer and a person, as he tries repeatedly to tell the story he wishes to tell. The main plot revolves around the notion that Simple questions may have simple answers, but some questions are so large that there are no answers to them’. The main protagonist tries to relate his childhood experiences with his present state’s desires and aspiration. He thinks about his relationship with his father and the some of the un-solved issues between them. In his story he searches for all those un-answered questions that have stayed within him till now.

Manav Kaul’s direction and screenplay both are very enlightening and easy on the mind though there are times when you would wonder what the whole fuss is all about. The subject though very serious but has its light moments too, which add a different charm to the on-going scene. In my opinion a must watch for all serious-kind of theatre lovers.

Anyway the reason why I am writing about this play is because the Aranyas are showcasing all of their plays back-to-back at Prithvi this coming weekend.

Here are the details that I managed to get off their team –

27th July’06: Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane at Prithvi theatre (6pm and 9pm) Rs.50/-
28th July’06: Peele Scooterwala Aadmi at Prithvi Theatre (6pm and 9pm) Rs.50/-
29th and 30th July’06: Bali Aur Shambhu at Prithvi Theatre (6pm and 9pm) Rs.100/-
Tickets go sale from today at Prithvi (Ph: 2614 9546) or you can ring Tushar Raut on 98200 23877 or Ayaz on 98205 40302.

So do check them out, atleast one if not all. Believe me it will surely be worth it.

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