Watch a play in gibberish, be part of the action at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Celebrate heroism, love and laughter, through stories old and new

mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2017 12:58 IST
Anubhuti Matta
Anubhuti Matta
Hindustan Times
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,HTKGAF,Rajat Kapoor
The audience watches the play Rangrasiya Balam at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival last year.(HT File Photo)

Rather fittingly, ‘Dark Horse’ is the theme for the theatre and cinema sections of this year’s HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

On stage, you can look forward to 49 plays across English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. “There’s a play in gibberish too,” says Juuhi Babbar Sonii, curator of the theatre section. “We’ve aimed at getting the right mix by showcasing plays that are critically acclaimed and plays that are experiments by amateurs as well as collaboration with special schools and NGOs.”

Performing alongside homegrown troupes will be theatre companies from Delhi, Guwahati, Pune, Solapur and Jaipur.

Pune’s Naandi Productions will debut at the festival with their Marathi play, Tichya Aaichi Goshta Arthat Mazya Athavanincha Phad (Her Mother’s Story, or The Caravan of My Memories), the story of the trials and struggles of a lavani artiste.

Also debuting are Gujarati plays Kamrabhabhi No Barapo (The Outcry of Kamla) and Married Bachelor.

Both comedies, the former is based on the life of a middle-class family and the latter is centered on two friends fed up of married life and how one of them hires a woman to play the role of his wife to inherit a deceased uncle’s property.

“The good part about this festival is that everyone comes with an open mind and are willing to experiment with our ventures,” says Manoj Shah, director of Kamrabhabhi No Barapo.

“It is a prestigious affair for us to be performing at KGAF, we look forward to encouragement from the crowds,” says Rohan Tirandaz, director, Married Bachelor.

Popular faces to look forward to include Vinay Pathak (Khosla Ka Ghosla, 2006), Rajat Kapoor (Kapoor and Sons, 2016), Rakesh Bedi (of teleseries Shrimaan Shrimati, 1994) and theatre artistes Vibha Chibber in Hindi play Shrimaan Chor and Dinyar Tirandaz in Married Bachelor.

The stage aside, this year, the cinema section at KGAF will feature close to 50 films that include genres related to fiction, non-fiction, regional and documentaries. “Keeping within the larger theme of the dark horse, our curatorial theme is the hero’s journey and all our films will try to show this in some essence,” says cinema section curator Udita Jhunjhunwala.

The festival has also received about 130 short films for their annual short film making competition based on the theme. These three to fifteen minute films from countries like Pakistan and Europe cover a wide range of formats—children, documentaries, animated etc showing stories about a woman who is a house help and how she educates herself for a better life and one on the Kashmir conflict, shot entirely on location.

In a line-up spread across four days, the stand-up section at the KGAF will see comedians like Karunesh Talwar, Sorabh Pant, Abhishek Upmanyu, Sonali Thakker etc.

“This year, we’ve also dedicated two sessions to improve comedy and I believe that will have the audience in splits,” says section curator Jeeya Sethi.

The Etceteras and The Ankit and Avinash Show are going to conduct the improvs. “We will ask the audience for a line or a scene or any word that comes to their head and include their suggestions in our performance,” says Kabir Chandra of The Etceteras. “We love the vibe at KGAF, it’s a great platform to showcase our talent,” he adds.

“The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is the best thing to happen to Mumbai because it brings the city together — young and old alike. It brings theatre out into the streets. It is a good opportunity for new actors and directors to showcase their talent without having to spend too much money on a stage. The enthusiasm from the audience is fantastic and that keeps the spirit in us theatre people alive,” said Alyque Padamsee, adman and theatre director.


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First Published: Feb 03, 2017 08:47 IST