Theatre artiste and film director Feroz Abbas Khan is back with a new play,
Dinner With Friends
, which will premiere in the city today. Presented by Ballantine’s, Khan claims the subject of
Dinner With Friends
is “unlike” any of his other works including
Mahatma v/s Gandhi
, which he adapted into the film
Gandhi, My Father
Dinner with Friends
is an adaptation of the original Pulitzer-winning play by Donald Margulies, to which Khan brings an ensemble cast comprising Tisca Chopra, Vinay Jain, Joy Sengupta and Perizaad Zorabian, who comes back to her theatre roots after a long hiatus. The play shows the effect the divorce of one couple has on another, and how the affected couple begins to re-evaluate their relationship. Khan says, “It reflects the contemporary concerns of urban society. It does not have any messages; it just holds up a mirror to marriages today.”
Khan, who spearheaded the International Prithvi Theatre Festival as director with late Jennifer Kapoor, says he needs to feel challenged every time he directs a play. Having directed theatre stalwarts such as Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher and Farooque Sheikh among others, he thinks he’s yet to figure out cinema: “In theatre lie my roots; I like to challenge the medium’s grammar. Films don’t have the symbolic power that theatre has and they need a lot of money to say something really small.” Having said that, he confirms he has a script ready for his next. “Growth in one area is a growth in the other; it’s a continuous cycle, not an advantage that I have. But theatre is an altar where you have to sacrifice. Cinema... I’m still trying to figure out,” he reasons.
Back on stage
Zorabian, who’s back to acting after four years, says, “I was very clear that if I make a comeback it had to be something that I thought was phenomenal. This helped brush up my basic training. I’m taking baby steps now; I’ll do films maybe next year.” Chopra, on the other hand, had been waiting for the play to materialise: “Ferozji is my guru and this is my fourth play with him. He’d told me about the play a long time ago and ever since I’d just been asking him to finish it. I’m glad it worked out.”
As for the multifaceted director, he’s waiting to take the play to Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Chennai and Pune after Mumbai’s shows.