Trivial matters: Play ridicules banalities of daily life

  • Arundhati Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 28, 2014 18:23 IST

A talk show host, a serial killer, a nationally renowned blind poet, and a man who wants to confess in a church but has nothing to confess, are just a handful of characters from director Atul Kumar’s new play, Trivial Disasters.

Having premiered last week in Bengaluru, the drama is a series of nine absurd vignettes that take the realities of daily life, turn them upside down, and view them through a sinister glass. The dark comedy boasts of a star-studded cast, featuring Kalki Koechlin, Richa Chadda, Purab Kohli and Cyrus Sahukar.

A scene from the rehersals.

While Kalki and Richa have already worked together in a yet-to-release film, Jiah Aur Jiah, this is their first theatre collaboration. "We have an innovative stage set-up. We use a number of cardboard boxes that become a million different spaces and sets. I hope the audience will be excited to see ordinary boxes used in so many ways," says Kumar.

Set against the backdrop of an urban city, each actor will be portraying several characters. "I laughed out loud the first time I read the script. The play as a whole has a feeling of incompleteness about it, which leaves an empty feeling in your stomach, even as you are laughing," says Kalki, who plays five different characters. Talking about them, she says, "We all have multiple roles. For me, while some were easier to play like the shy girl part and the talk show host, the role of the older, blind, nationally renowned poet was pretty difficult."

A scene from the rehersals.

It’s a travelling production that will visit 11 cities, including Indore, Patna, Jaipur and Lucknow, over a period of two months. About the intensive rehearsal sessions, Chadda says, "We have been rehearsing for six-hours a day for almost a month now. Each day was like a workshop, and we got to learn a lot from each other."

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