Theatre groups that travel all over the country to entertain people are commonplace in the UK and USA. Taking a cue from the popular phenomenon, a similar initiative is being planned in India this month.
A new theatre festival, Theatre In Motion, will see groups from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata travel across these cities and stage plays in rotation. From Saturday (October 5) onwards, 50 shows comprising over 20 plays, across various genres will be staged. “Honestly, theatre is actually a backseat passenger of the bus driven by the government. Hence, serious theatre workers have come together to improve the current situation with this innovative initiative. This is the only way to keep the theatre culture alive,” says Rudraprasad Sengupta, director, Nandikar, a theatre group from Kolkata.
The inaugurating plays of the festival in the city are Ajnatobaas and Anto-Aadi-Anto, performed by Nandikar. “We have high expectations from the audience in Mumbai, since this will be the very first time that the people here will get to watch nine Bengali plays, along with some others from Delhi on an ongoing basis,” says Anant Mahapatra, organiser of Theatre in Motion.
While Ajnatobaas is a thriller that revolves around an elderly woman who has lost her memory, Anto-Aadi-Anto is the Bengali adaptation of a French play, La Musica, by Marguerite Duras, which is about the man-woman relationship. “Contemporary theatre in Mumbai is focusing more on comedy, and hence, it will be a breather for the audience to enjoy some tragedies too. We want each city to experience talent from other cities consistently,” adds Mahapatra. The theatre extravaganza will feature stage exponents like Rajit Kapoor, Rahul da Cunha, Lillete Dubey, Soumitra Chatterjee and Nadira Babbar, among others.
Ajnatobaas and Anto-Aadi-Anto will be staged on October 5 and 6 respectively, at the Veer Savarkar Auditorium, Shivaji Park, from 7 pm onwards.