Confused about which plays to catch at the upcoming Prithvi Theatre Festival? We pick five you must watch.
The annual Prithvi Theatre Festival has always celebrated new plays — local, national and international productions. Now in its 38th year, it will also feature a concert by Symphony Orchestra of India, a Kathak performance by Sanjukta Sinha, in addition to 18 plays. We tell you which plays to catch:
1) Riding Madly off in All Directions (English)
The entire family — Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Heeba Shah, Imaad Shah and Vivaan Shah — come together on stage after a long time for this premiering play. Directed by Naseeruddin, the production is a mix of Stephen Leacock’s (Canadian political scientist, teacher and humourist) various writings. There isn’t a traditional storyline or structure, since the pieces aren’t connected.
When: November 4, 6pm and 9pm
2) Dhumrapaan (Hindi and English)
Over a week, a motley group of corporate employees talk about appraisals, politics and relationships, in the smoking area of an office building. A premiering play by Akarsh Khurana, Dhumrapaan takes a look at the rat race, and the way we deal with it, in a humorous way. Produced by D for Drama, it stars Kumud Mishra (Rockstar, 2011; Sultan, 2016), Subhrajyoti Barat and Ghanshyam Lalsa, among others.
When: November 6, 6pm and 9pm
3) Meri Maa Ke Haath (Hindi)
As Nadira Babbar’s theatre group, Ekjute, completes 35 years, Babbar presents a new production that delves into her personal history. Written, directed and enacted by Babbar, the play is about her mother, Razia Sajjad Zaheer. She was an Urdu writer (Kaante, Allah Megh De) and a professor at Lucknow University.
When: November 8, 6pm and 9pm
4) Chuhal (Hindi)
You might know Manav Kaul because of cinema (Kai Po Che!; 2013, City Lights; 2014), but it’s theatre that’s been his playing ground for over a decade; he launched his drama group, aRanya, in 2004. This new play (written and directed by Kaul) is a light-hearted rom-com set in small-town India. Watch the story of two strangers whose paths cross. Chuhal stars Kaul, Sugandha Garg (Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na; 2008), and Robin Das (Mary Kom, 2014).
When: November 12, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm
5) Hardee Chicken (English)
Perhaps the most experimental of the lot, this piece is loosely based on the migrants from India to Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1800s. Karen Dipnarin Ramparsad, played by Shikha Talsania (Wake up Sid; 2009), demonstrates a family recipe while talking about her family’s history. The play is devised by Patchworks Ensemble’s Puja Sarup and Talsania.
When: November 4, 7.30pm. Free entry.
What: The Prithvi Theatre Festival will be held from November 3 to 14.
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu
Call: 2614 9546
Tickets: Rs 500 on bookmyshow.com