An unusual love story comes alive on stage in a Lillete Dubey directorial, this Sunday
Actor-director Lillete Dubey, who loves to be on the stage more than she love being in front of the camera, is coming with another theatrical production, titled Salaam, Noni Appa. The story, part of author Twinkle Khanna’s best-seller — The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, is being adapted to stage by writer Adhir Bhat. The 90-minute English play stars actors Jayati Bhatia, Darshan Jariwala, Meher Dar and Rishi Khurana.
The play follows the tale of a woman who is on the path to finding love in the autumn of her life. It celebrates feminism and unleashes the freedom to embrace different choices, also sketching the whims, humour, free spirit and frivolity of the two widowed sisters Noni and Binni, and their findings of new love and unadulterated relationships.
Dubey confesses, “Theatre has always been my first love, as it offers you infinite choices and possibilities whereas a film (for me) is very restraining. Even as an actor, I prefer theatre.” Dubey, in the past has directed several plays such as 9 Parts of Desire, 30 Days in September, and Gauhar.
Ask her why she resonated with this story in particular, Dubey, who also stars in the play, says, “Maybe I am getting close to this age, that’s why everything appealed to me. I, subconsciously, get attracted to stories where the protagonists are women. The story is authentic and has a tongue in cheek humour. It has a sharp observation of small everyday things.”
Speaking on the challenges of bringing the characters alive on the stage, she shares, “The main thing was to be true to the story (from the book). Quite of a few of the dialogues are [from the book] as well. Jayati and I also speak in Kutchi to give it the required flavour.” She adds, “Also, every time I do a play, I go by my gut (feeling). As a director and producer, I have done plays on board themes from sexual abuse to classical music, and this play stems from wanting [to do] something different.”
Actor Darshan Jariwala, plays the role of a retired person Anand who teaches Yoga. “Many of us go through life thinking about others. Before one finally goes towards the light, it’s necessary to experience whatever joy is there on the journey called life. My character undergoes self-discovery when he meets the two sisters and gets drawn to the elder of the two sisters, finding companionship in her, and decides that he doesn’t want to stay in an unhappy marriage,” he says. “I am very excited to perform yet the feeling is daunting as I’ll be performing at the Siri Fort auditorium for the very first time,” he signs off.
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