The city of Mumbai has always been a recurrent theme in cinema, films and theatre. In yet-another offering, director and writer Zubin Driver will explore the love-hate relationship Mumbaikars share with their city through his play, Mumbai Vs Mumbai.
The act features four monologues that bring out the constant state of conflict that residents of the city live in. “People struggle with the city, with each other, and with their own dreams. While some people achieve peace of mind, most struggle to find a balance all their lives. The four pieces are all about real characters that face this multi-layered tussle every day,” says Zubin about the play that will premiere in the city on May 18.
The play uses the topography of the city, including landmark places like Mahim station, Tulsi Pipe Road, in its narrative. The first monologue, Silence, is about a man standing alone at a beach. Car Song is about a guy stuck in his car, for eternity. Rathod- The Roach-Killer, is about an out-of-the-box character who is a pest-control salesman. The last piece, Spider is based on a 9 pm news anchor. “He is insecure, full of himself and very tired with his monotonous job,” says Zubin about the character.
Acclaimed theatre and TV actor Denzil Smith will be playing all four characters in the play. Ask him how challenging it is to get into the skin of four strikingly different characters in the matter of an hour, and he says, “As an actor, one is always observing people, cultures, trends, human behaviour and, most of all, one’s self. It is from these observations that one learns.
The first piece, Silence, is meditative and can be positively disturbing; I see it as an invocation. If the audience sits though that part, then the rest of the evening will be quite well-received.”
Mumbai Vs Mumbai will be staged at Dance Theatre Godrej, NCPA on May 18 and May 19 at 7 pm. Tickets cost R250 and can be booked onliine on ncpamumbai.org