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Acting their old selves

art and culture Updated: Mar 26, 2010 22:23 IST
Nivriti Butalia
Nivriti Butalia
Hindustan Times
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When a big-ticket play comes to town, advance booking becomes the need of the hour. For celeb-hungry Delhi, next week will be too late to discover actress Konkona Sen Sharma's visit. As will her actor-beau Ranvir Shorey and his friend Vinay Pathak from their VJ days (Remember Channel [V]'s House Arrest?)

The play, The Blue Mug is loaded with talent. Director Atul Kumar says he has known the actors off stage and that "they've been friends for a very long time". It helps then, he says, to elicit brilliant live performances from them, as he knows how they work and understands the sensibilities of his actor friends. "Some are surprisingly fabulous," he says, not explaining whom he means.

Speaking of which, besides Sen, Shorey, and Pathak, the line-up of actors includes the lesser known but no less fabulous Munish Bhardwaj, and Sheeba Chadha. And then of course there is Rajat Kapoor — you know him from any number of films — from directing Bheja Fry, to enacting sleazy uncle in Monsoon Wedding.

Quick facts: The Blue Mug is produced by The Company Theatre, Mumbai. It is a 75-minute long production, and is adapted from Oliver Sack's book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat.

There is even a wikipedia entry on this play on memories "and what we make of them," like the tag line says. Without disclosing the plot-plot, Kumar, the director, explains that actors play themselves. Konkona is Konkona. Ranvir is Ranvir. Sheeba is Sheeba." We just performed in Pune and the actors keep improvising… so while audiences across cities react to some parts of the play in a similar way, it's interesting to see the difference in reaction".

The play is about the actors' memories and Kumar says his favourites are the larger memories, the national ones, where they, the actors, were during the '84 riots, what they remember of the Babri Masjid demolition, that sort of thing.

The Blue Mug has been to 7 cities already and the tour will continue till April.

The Blue Mug; April 3 and 4, 2010
Venue: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg. Tickets available at the venue.
Shows start at 7.30 pm; tickets priced at Rs.500, 300, 200 & 150.