Theatre helped me: Naseer

Updated on Aug 21, 2003 06:37 PM IST

Theatre is an immense challenge for an actor while Hindi films "hardly tax your intellect," says Shah.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bangalore

Theatre is an immense challenge for an actor while Hindi films "hardly tax your intellect", according to film actor Naseeruddin Shah.

"And that is the reason for my acting in only 150 films in my entire career spanning 23 years", Shah, who has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood, told reporters during a preview of his theatre production Ismat Apa Ke Naam here.

He said while he had admired a number of Bollywood actors, none had inspired him. "I have always found myself woefully inadequate to enact the kind of song and dance roles that were expected of me," he said.

Theatre was where, Shah says, he had been able to realise his potential to some extent and his link with it (theatre) had been continuous.

Though theatre widens your scope as an actor, it can never match the popularity of cinema, he said. But the day was not far when "virtual reality will totally take over theatre", he lamented.

Directed by Naseeruddin Shah, Ismat Aapa Ke Naam is a series of three short stories of famous Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai, narrated by the trio of Shah himself, his wife Ratna Pathak Shah and daughter Heeba Shah.

Shah says he chose Chugtai because he came from the same social set up. "Though the milieu is of Uttar Pradesh of 1930's, the values, the human relationships and ethics are very relevant and contemporary", he said.

The series is brought to the city by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), the first grant making organisation for Arts in the country. 

Recalling his long stint with international theatre director, Peter Brooks of Mahabharata fame, he said it was very inspiring and stimulating.

He said he had the highest regard for those who did theatre with a purpose other than entertainment like Habib Tanvir who has revived the folk culture of Chhattisgarh.

This play is Motely's (Shah's home production) first step into Hindusthani language theatre. All earlier productions have been in English, he said.

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