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When Juliet met Jai

A play by the alumni of IITs explores new dimensions of friendship, with a twist.

art and culture Updated: Feb 18, 2012 01:54 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times

What does the word Juliet bring to your mind? The ever-so-popular romantic story? Hang on! In this theatrical production you will find Juliet with... well not Romeo, but Jai. Titled Jai and Juliet, it is the story of two best friends — both men.

Being staged in Delhi for the first time, the play is an adapted and improvised version of the famous 1965 Broadway play by Neil Simon — The Odd Couple. “The play by Simon is based in an American set up, we have Indianised it to suit the audience here,” says 26-year-old theatre actor Avinash Anand, who recently made making his directorial debut with Jai and Juliet.

A comical take on relationships such as friendship and marriage, the play is being presented by Desires Unlimited, an organisation founded by an IIT Delhi alumnus in 2009, to promote theatre. It’s members are alumni of IITs from across the country. Set in the late 80s, the plot revolves around the two lead characters —Raghavendra Vajapayee aka Jai and Kiran Chaturvedi aka Juliet, who start living together after going through an emotional crunch in their lives.

“What we are trying to bring out in this play is that even the best of friends can have disagreements when live under the same roof,” says Diptanshu Upadhyay, 25, who will play the role of Juliet, a hygiene freak divorced man with feminine habits. On the other hand, Tarun Singhal, 27, plays the role of Jai, a flirtatious, carefree and chilled-out character. The two contrasting characters drive each other crazy to the point that one is after the other’s life.

“The time frame is also quite interesting... like you can see the use of landline phones, bell-bottoms, and even those 80’s type of glasses. An interesting improvisation in the play is the Poker game, which has been merged very well in the plot,” says Tarun.

Interestingly, it is the first ever play in India that will be streamed live for domestic and international audiences.

Watch it live

What: Jai and Juliet
Where: NCUI Auditorium, Siri Fort Road, Anand Lok
When: February 18, 19
Timing: 7pm
Tickets: Can be booked on Bookmyshow
Live streaming:
NEAREST METRO STATION: Green Park on the Yellow Line

First Published: Feb 17, 2012 16:16 IST