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A laughter riot

A festival of comedy plays, commemorating 100 years of Delhi, will begin this week
Hindustan Times | By Aakriti Sawhney, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2012 01:03 AM IST

There is never a dull theatre moment in the city. Almost every week, we see a theatrical performance taking place in the Capital. Adding to this trend, is a festival of comedy plays titled Hasya Rang, which begins in the city on March 13. Presented by Navras and Khilona, (both are Delhi-based theatre groups) in association with Sahitya Kala Parishad, the festival marks Delhi’s centenary celebrations.

"Theatre is a very vibrant part of Delhi’s culture. The participants in this festival are people who have very actively contributed to Delhi’s theatre," says Rashmi Vaidalingam, the producer of the festival.

The festival, which is spread over three different venues, will see six plays that include various forms of comedy like parody, satire, and political satire. All the plays are directed by Mumbai-based theatre director, Chittaranjan Tripathy.

"When we decided to do a theatre festival, the best genre we could think of was comedy, as laughter is one common thread that binds all age groups," says Vaidalingam, who will also be acting in three of these productions. She adds, "People think that comedy is very easy to do, but it’s one of the toughest things on stage. It requires the right timing and the right kind of connect with your co-actors, as well as the audiences."

The festival opens with the play, Taj Mahal Ka Tender, which is a socio-political satire and deals with the issue of corruption. To be held at Shri Ram Center, Mandi House, the play has been staged in Delhi many times, but it was Tripathy who directed it for the first time in 1998, when he was a part of the National School of Drama’s repertory.

Another interesting play in the festival is Capitol Express. “This one is a very futuristic and hypothetical play where the protagonist is invited to the Moon by the residents there, to seek his advice, as he is the most corrupt person on earth,” says Tripathy.

Other plays to be staged include Ladi Nazariya, Arre! Shareef Log, Charcha Gali Gali and Shabaash Anarkali.

Fact File
What: Hasya Rang, a comedy theatre festival
Where: Shri Ram Centre, LTG Auditorium and India Habitat Centre
WHEN: March 13 - March 20
Entry: First come first served basis

1. Taj Mahal Ka Tender, March 13 at Shri Ram Center, 7 pm onwards
2. Capitol Express, March 14 at Shri Ram Center, 7 pm onwards
3. Ladi Nazariya, March 15 at LTG Auditorium, 7 pm onwards
4. Arre!! Shareef Log, March 17 at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, 7 pm onwards
5. Charcha Gali Gali, March 19 at LTG Auditorium, 7 pm onwards
6. Shabaash Anarkali, March 20 at LTG Auditorium, 7 pm onwards

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