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Poised for stage

chandigarh Updated: Apr 21, 2012 16:28 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Dressed in white with a scarf around his neck, actor Rajit Kapur looks tranquil. But the creative churnings in his mind want to breach the banks.

He says, "I cannot live in an environment that binds me." He refuses to mould himself in stereotypes and that perhaps is the reason why audiences have seen him in myriad roles, whether on stage or in films over the years.

In city, he brings his Mumbai-based theatre company RAGE's popular play One on One, which is a collage of nine stories written by talented writers and enacted and directed by equally talented artistes.

"Though each story is eight to nine minutes long, the process of putting the stories and the creative minds together is too very long," says Kapur during an informal media interaction in city on Friday along with theatre and film actor Shernaz Patel, who is also a part of the play that will be staged at Tagore Theatre today.

Patel, Rahul da Cunha and Rajit Kapur came together to start RAGE in 1993 and since then they have produced a number of popular productions.

Talking about the play, both the actors feel that the diversity of themes is the play's strength. The stories not only rake different issues but also project a slice of life through satire and mild humour. More than 75 shows of the production have already been staged in different parts of India, they inform.

Kapur says, "We feel happy when we travel with our production; the response from small cities is quite amazing. But we also have a constraint. Taking the play out costs us money and there is still a problem getting support from sponsors."

Patel chips in, "Things have improved. Now corporate companies have started sponsoring theatre, but theatre is still amateur in India unlike west. Actors cannot survive on theatre alone and that is why they look for opportunities in cinema and other mediums."

Kapur says that a positive trend for theatre is that the TV bubble has burst. "Novelty of television is over and that is why more and more people are interested in live interaction and live medium. We also make an extra effort to attract the audience," says Kapur adding that he was offered many lead roles on TV but he declined because he could not do "repetitive" work.

Known for his roles in films such as Mammo (1994), Sardari Begum (1996) and Zubeidaa (2001) among others, he says that cinema is changing and its different experiments are getting attention. He also informs that he is thinking of directing a film, but it is too early to talk about it.

Responding to a question on how difficult it is to find a good role in cinema, Patel, who is known for her roles in Black and Guzarish, says, "It is not easy but there are directors who apart from the lead characters also focus on other characters."