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Down with the walls

Rahul Pulkeshi’s new play will use songs from Pink Floyd’s cult album on stage.

art and culture Updated: Jan 14, 2010 19:39 IST
Ritu Pandey

They’re ready to Bring down the Walls…dividing creative expressions such as art, theatre, music, films, fashion and technology. 'I Dream Theatre's', which brought alive William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns in an ambitious stage production last year, is now coming up with a musical, Bring Down the Walls, that uses all 24 songs of Pink Floyd’s popular album, The Wall, in another theatrical endeavour.

“We call it Concert Theatre’, since it juxtaposes the grandeur of a concert with the intimacy of a theatre play,” says Rahul Pulkeshi, the man behind the production. “The album completely compliments our story, which is an exploration of freedom in 21st-century India, through the journey of five characters in search of their individuality. So, the background score is inspired by album,” he adds.

The play is a first-of-a-kind effort for the Capital, since it takes place inside a specially-designed amphitheatre at 'The DLF Place' in Saket with a seating capacity of 2,000 people.

"I’m trying to find new idioms for theatre with unique pieces of work set in non-traditional spaces. The last time, we tried a travelogue at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts; this time, we have a musical in a mall," says Pulkeshi

The production is part of a 20-day long carnival showcasing varied performing arts that opens at the mall on March 20 and continues till April 13. "My teacher Barry John wanted to narrate this story 12 years ago. But things didn’t work out then. Now his protégé, N Kumar, is directing it for us, with a cast that includes names like Tom Alter, Mona Ambegaonkar, Imad Shah and Vidushi Mehra," says Pulkeshi.

Alter is anxious about the play. "We’re doing the readings right now. But I’ve never really been part of a musical before. So this is something new. And since I have worked with the team in City of Djinns, there’s a level of comfort that I share with them." The producers have bought the rights of the songs from the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) to use them in the live performance.

"The dramatic dynamics of the plot are divided between two contrasting zones. While the reflection is represented through two characters (played by Alter and Ambegaonkar) in a textual format, the action is represented by the other characters through the musical format," explains Pulkeshi.