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Delhi's got a dramatic weekend ahead

Two original plays are all set to make their appearance on the Delhi theatre circuit. While legendary actor Guru Dutt’s life and death come alive on stage through one act, the other play deals with true-life stories of nine Iraqi women during the Gulf wars.

lifestyle Updated: Aug 24, 2013 02:25 IST
Chetna Dua

delhi’s got a dramatic weekend ahead...

Legendary actor Guru Dutt’s life and death come alive on stage through this act

Chetna Dua

It’s about that age when stars were the real superstars. Without social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to share their daily details, not much was known about their lives — evoking a sense of mystery and enigma. Guru Dutt — the 50s star of Hindi film classics, such as Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Pyaasa — created ripples around the world when he committed suicide in 1964. A play — Ten years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey — lifts the curtains to bring us closer to the enigma. Based on a book with the same name by journalist Sathya Saran, it shows his struggles, desires and relationships, especially with his writer, Abrar Alvi. “Alvi was a close confidant of Dutt Saab for almost 10 years,” says Saattvic, director, who is playing the role of Alvi in the play.

The play also throws light on how the two discovered Waheeda Rehman and a hilarious scene where Guru Dutt is trying to convince Alvi to cast Meena Kumari in Sahib Bibi aur Gulam. The play ends with a sequence of the controversial suicide scene of Guru Dutt. “The scene is presented in such a way that all the actors step out of their characters and turn narrators. The emotion is kept intact but in an understated manner,” says Saattvic.

Catch It live
What: Ten years with Guru Dutt — Abrar Alvi's Journey
When: Gurgaon: Aug 24; Delhi: Aug 25
Timings: 7:30 pm
Where: Gurgaon: Nirvana Patio Club, Block K, South City II; Delhi: Lok Kala Manch, 20, Lodhi Institutional Area, Lodhi Road

True-life stories of nine Iraqi women during the Gulf wars find their way on stage

'If you had any doubts about women being not just the fairer but also the stronger sex, the play Nine Parts of Desire is sure to bring home the point. Based on a book with the same name by Australian journalist Geraldine Brooks, the play tells true life stories of nine Iraqi women during the first and second Gulf wars. “I feel that stories of women across the world are the same. We all face similar prejudices and challenges irrespective of our country or era,” says Kanchan Ujjal Singh, the director. “We might call ourselves modern, but a woman’s life still involves a lot of compromises. Her character is still judged by what she wears, she is expected to marry and bear children even if she doesn’t want them,” she adds.

The play traces the story of Layal — a sexy painter who has to make many compromises to reach on top, Huda — a radical columnist who has to flee from the country because of her free thoughts, a doctor who is unable to help the patients due to lack of facilities, and Nanna — who has seen 23 revolutions and learnt
to be shrewd enough to make the most of each opportunity, even if it means collecting goods of the dead and selling them for survival. “Even though these women are a part of the war, they are not victims. They are survivors.

These women are a perfect example of how life can strengthen each of us,” says Singh.

Catch It live
What: Nine parts of Desire
When: August 24,25
Timings: 6pm, 8pm
Where: Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place