You’d think that it would be impossible to describe the intensity of any relationship in 10 minutes. But Ballantine’s Salt and Pepper, a play being staged at the NCPA tonight, intends to do exactly that. The comedy, which boasts of a versatile cast comprising actors Mandira Bedi, Kuki Grewal, Darshan Jariwala and Vikram Kochhar will be an amalgamation of 10 different short plays. It claims to reveal the dark side of relationships by capturing the equations between couples of every age.
Mandira, for instance, will play the characters of women aged 21, 40, 65 and 80. “I play an ex-girlfriend in one story, in another I am a middle-aged woman stuck on the top of a giant wheel with a man whom she has met for the first time. This is
the first time that I’ve played so many avatars. It was very challenging,” she says. Her co-actor Darshan portrays six characters and seems to share a similar view. “Each one of them is as diverse as salt and pepper,” he insists.
Playing a single character on the stage is a challenge, let alone 10. So how did the cast prepare themselves for their respective roles? ‘The challenging part was to shift immediately from one character to the other,” says Darshan. And Mandira points out, “But that’s the beauty of theatre. The spontaneity — the fact that you have no room for even a single retake — is where the thrill lies.”
The play received a great response in Kolkata last week, and the cast is hoping for the same from Mumbai as well. “We have all put in a lot of effort and I am quite sure the concept will strike a chord with the audience. There are moments which are lighthearted and fun, and then there are some which are intense — and will make you introspect,” says Kuki.
Salt and Pepper will premiere at the Tata Theatre, NCPA, tonight at 7.30 pm and at St Andrews Bandra, tomorrow, 7.30 pm