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Edward theatre, now a cultural hotspot

Last year, Bandra’s iconic Mehboob Studio opened up as an alternative cultural hub. Now, another unlikely space — one of the city’s oldest single-screen theatres, Edward at Kalbadevi, is prepping up to find its name on the city culture-vulture’s GPS.

art and culture Updated: Feb 09, 2012 13:09 IST
Megha Mahindru

Last year, Bandra’s iconic Mehboob Studio opened up as an alternative cultural hub. Now, another unlikely space — one of the city’s oldest single-screen theatres, Edward at Kalbadevi, is prepping up to find its name on the city culture-vulture’s GPS.

The iconic theatre will host an audio-visual performance by UK collective, The Light Surgeons this Friday. The gig, put together by British Council and Delhi’s multi-media ensemble, BLOT!, is an attempt to bring the newer generation to embrace this old-world gem. Wooing them is an offer that few can refuse — electronica music, trippy visuals and even a bar put against a 19th century decor, opera house-styled seating, non-AC ambience and scraped blue walls.

“Edward is a 1915 British theatre that was built as an opera house. It worked as a site for silent films, before it became a Talkies. Since then, it’s stuck in that age,” says Fred Poonawala, managing partner at Edward.
Poonawala and his team are now looking at ways to bring Edward back. “We wanted to make it a more happening venue. It wasn’t getting as many footfalls and the revenues were dropping. So we decided to make it a low-cost, alternative performing arts place,” he says.

The theatre, which is currently running a comedy festival on Sundays, will soon be hosting everything from stand-up comedy gigs to Bharatnatyam recitals. “Even though it’s not in the best condition, it is a charming space. With colleges like HR, St Xavier’s and Jai Hind close-by, we are hoping to see it slowly become a cultural hub.”

And for those who are wondering how Friday’s sit-down gig works, Christopher Allen of The Light Surgeons explains, “It’s a new progressive form of cinema and music. Our LDN-REDUX performance is an audio-visual journey through London. Each time we add new things to it and tweak it.”

The Light Surgeons perform at Edward theatre on February 10, 9 pm onwards. For tickets, log on to www.bookmyshow.com