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Big rush for theatre fest in city

If you thought theatre was unpopular in Delhi, you only need to go looking for tickets to the annual Bharat Rang Mahotsav.

delhi Updated: Jan 05, 2009 22:47 IST
Tanya Ashreena

If you thought theatre was unpopular in Delhi, you only need to go looking for tickets to the annual Bharat Rang Mahotsav.

The passes are being sold at the National School of Drama (NSD). Three days into ticket sales, and 50 per cent of the productions featuring in the festival beginning Wednesday are already houseful.

Raj Kumar Mehra, a civil servant, appeared agitated as he kept going through the list and found most to be sold out. “I have been attending the festival since inception. Every year it is the same. Shows are houseful within an hour of ticket sales. The problem is people buy tickets in bulk," he said.

He himself had about 25 tickets in hand. “Through the year, only plays of Ghalib, the Natsamrat theatre and a handful of other productions are staged in Delhi. Plays that run in this festival are staged once a year, and that too just one show. This makes them special,” he said.

After numerous complaints, and a minor scuffle, the NSD has had to make changes. “Earlier, we were selling approximately 25 to 40 tickets to a person. There are times when a family of four wants to watch five or six different plays, which inevitably leads them to buy more than 20 tickets. However, to give more people a chance to watch productions, we have now decided not to sell more than 10 tickets to a person,” said a ticketing official, who is not authorised to speak to the media.

Amal Alana, chairperson, NSD said, “Hindi and English plays becoming houseful on the first day was never unusual. However, we find that in Delhi even regional plays in Marathi or Bengali have many takers. This is unusual. It shows that audiences in Delhi have become more cosmopolitan, which might also be because of numerous international events taking place in the city.”