If the plot of Desi Boyz (2011), which was about two Indian men settled abroad making a living as strippers, seemed a little too farfetched; then let playwright Warren Dsylva’s Monkey Bizness bring you a little closer to reality. The play, which will be staged at the NCPA tonight, revolves around the lives of three young men who abandon their corporate jobs for an unconventional career as male strippers.
“I was the creative head for an advertising agency in Mumbai and my colleagues and I spent many late nights exchanging ideas and pointless banter. Once, I heard of a fellow colleague, who was desperately in need of cash to pay off a few bills, say that he was willing to do anything, including — as he jokingly said at first — give pleasure to older women. That’s what sparked the idea,” says Warren, who has written and directed over a dozen stage performances as well as helmed a radio play that was shortlisted for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Award.
Monkey Bizness stars Leandro Dsylva, Janvion Rodrigues and Nikhil Alves. Warren says that the title is inspired by the late-night ramblings that led to the birth of the story. Ask him if he thinks the Indian audience is comfortable with subjects like male strippers, and he says, “It's neither perverse nor distasteful. We premiered at the Celebrate Bandra Festival in December last year, which was largely attended by an older audience. They enjoyed every bit of it.”
With the subject being good fodder for comical and fictional improvisation, was there any part which was taken from a real life
experience? “Like I said, my colleague said something about being an ‘escort’ and he even went on to do some online research. But, that’s where the excitement stopped and the fiction took over,” explains Warren.