Ten minutes, that was all the time given to three theatre groups and three solo artistes to share some beautiful stories with a packed audience at Gallery Beyond on Wednesday.
A Platform Performances production meant to showcases various genres, the plays were staged as part of the Colonel & Co theatre section of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
The series began with ‘A day in my head’, a dark story about a violent woman rejected by her father for being a girl. The second play was about a young bachelor, Rohan, who finds fatherhood after his tenants leave their child behind.
“During my final year in college, we were asked to go out and observe people. Rohan’s character is based on one such man I met,” said Vivaan Parashar, 23.
‘Alcoholism’ was performed by four teenagers to spread the social message that alcoholism can be corrected if people accept it as their weakness.
‘Mujhe insaaf chahiye (I want justice)’ was a one-man show where a retired Air Force officer SK Ahuja, 75, played all the characters. His story was about a convict on the run who has been wrongly implicated in a murder.
“Theatre is my newfound love and age is just a number,” he said. “I approached the oraganisers, they auditioned me and I was in.”
The fifth play, ‘Ek thi Sara’, told the story of a woman in Pakistan who lives with a domineering husband. She finds strength in writing to a friend in India, and through her correspondence explores a different world.
The final act was a monologue by a college student who took the audience along the journey of a young drug dealer from Dongri.
“The concept of having several 10-minute plays was really nice. I especially loved ‘Rohan’ and ‘Ek thi Sara’,” said Sapna Jasmin, 30, a Delhiite in the city on work.
For Sarah Nicolas, 23, a PR executive from Santacruz, it was the first play that left her most spellbound. “We don’t get to see dark stories like this one on the stage in Mumbai,” she said.