(L-R, sitting): Sukant Goel, Shivam Kansale, Shivani Tanksale<BR>(L-R, standing): Aseem Hattangady, Jaswinder Singh, Bhargava Krishna, Natasha Azad and Rajit Kapur
RAGE, a Mumbai-based theatre company that was founded by actors Rajit Kapur, Shernaz Patel and director Rahul Da Cunha, brought to the city a delicious and thought-provoking play, The Bureaucrat, which was staged at Tagore Theatre in association with Durga Das Foundation on October 12.
Acclaimed theatre, TV and films actor Rajit, who was here for the staging of the English play, said their company usually produced one play a year, but had this time made four of them. In the absence of the play’s playwright, Anubhav Pal, and director Rahul Da Cunha, HT City interacted with some of the other major players of the act.
Rajit, who is most famously associated with many of director Shyam Benegal’s films, including Zubeidaa (2001), is of the belief that theatre, being the best medium of expression, must be weighed in terms of utility.
“Its thematic content and treatment must intervene and participate in the governance and social and political dialogues of the times so as to debate issues of public interest,” he observed. Rajit had bagged much acclaim for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 film, The Making of the Mahatma.
The theatre actor informs about his upcoming productions in Hindi, Jaal and Mahua, which he said are ready to go on stage. Rajit will next be seen in the city on November 25, in a play called, Walk in the Wards, which will also feature Naseeruddin Shah.
A part of the group of seasoned actors who were in the city was actor Bhargava Krishna, who essayed the role of the ‘bureaucrat’ in the play, summing up its essence as a laugh-out-loud-look in the times that we live in, which is infested by corruption. However, the authorities’ ability to commit crimes in a planned way and to come out safe, is what caught their attention.
“It was interesting to search out or generate the evil qualities of arrogance, mean mentality, greed and diplomatic patterns from within myself to give life to the character of the so-called bureaucrat on stage,” recalled Krishna.
A look at others in the cast:
“Chhote miyan subhaan allah…” appropriates the
persona of Aseem Hattangady, son of illustrious actors Rohini and Jaidev Hattangady. Aseem plays the alter ego of the bureaucrat in the play. Credited with having done 32 plays and some films, this FTTI (Film and Television Institute of India, Pune) graduate says he is still a ‘ghar ki murgi’ at his house.
Born and brought up in SAS Nagar, Jaswinder is a graduate of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, after which he joined theatre in Delhi in 1995 and migrated to Mumbai in 1998, to ultimately excel in English and Hindi theatre. Affectionately called ‘Singh is King’ by friends, Jaswinder disclosed that he was especially happy that his mother Harjit Kaur watched him this time in the city.
Hats off to the brilliant acting genius of Sukant Goel, who portrayed nine diverse roles in the play, ranging from that of a peon to an MTV executive. “Apart from rehearsing for my act, I had to practice changing moods and costumes more,” he laughed. Neil Bhoopalam, Shivani Tanksale, and the ‘baby of the team’, Natasha Azad, were the other actors of the play.