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Captivating Yakshagana performance at the Nehru Centre

An intensely captivating Yakshagana titled Devi Mahatme-Mahisha Vadhe was presented to a fully packed auditorium at the Nehru Centre recently.

Jointly organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence and KannadigaruUK, the program encompassed powerful performances by the artists of Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation Trust which has been making efforts to preserve and promote this ancient art form in India and abroad.

Yakshagana performance at The Nehru Centre

After the traditional invocation at the beginning and opening words by the Deputy Director of TNC Sanjay Sharma, an uninterrupted rapturous 90-minute dance drama was presented that received a standing ovation at the climax.

The Himmela team (Patla Satish Shetty, Padmanabha Upadhyaya, Chaitanya Krishna Padyana) and Mummela team (Prof. ML Samaga, Chandrashekhara Poojary, Mahesha Maniyani, Prashant Shetty Nelyadi, and Mohana Bellippady) have mesmerised the audience with their high-powered performances.

Felicitation to artists by Captain Munish Chauhan of the British Armed Forces, Sushil Rapatwar of Sanskruti Centre, and Dr Lakshmi Vyas of Hindu Forum of Europe, followed by the vote of thanks by Ganapati Bhat of KannadigaruUK concluded the interesting evening. 

Deputy Director of Nehru Centre Sanjay Sharma at Yakshagana event

Post-event, Captain Chauhan opined, “The evening was nothing short of extraordinary, the musicians transported us to a different realm while the dancers conveyed the essence with grace and precision. The story of Goddess Durga’s valorous battle against Mahishasur serves as a powerful reminder of the eternal struggle between right and wrong.

It reaffirms our commitment to upholding the values of justice, courage, and righteousness in our pursuit of a better world. It resonated deeply with me as a military officer, as in the armed forces, we dedicate ourselves to safeguarding society and eliminating the forces of evil. It was a privilege to be part of this event and it has left a lasting impression on me.”

Malini in the Yakshagana
Mahishasura Mardini
Satish Shetty of Patla Foundation Trust giving concluding remarks
Vote of Thanks by Ganapati Bhat
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The Snowman Brings Christmas Magic Back To Peacock Theatre

The Snowman brings Christmas magic back to Peacock Theatre this winter. A preview feature by Lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Christmas classic The Snowman returns to its Sadler’s Wells’ home in the West End, Peacock Theatre from Saturday 18 November – Saturday 30 December 2023 for its 26th edition. The dance show is an adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson, which originated at the Birmingham Rep. 
Featuring the iconic music and lyrics by Howard Blake, including ‘Walking in the Air’, all played by a live orchestra, The Snowman is directed by Bill Alexander and designed by Ruari Murchison, with choreography by Robert North and Tim Mitchell’s lighting. 

This production for all the family follows the story of a young boy’s adventures when his snowman and new friend comes to life on Christmas Eve. They go on a magical adventure to the North Pole where they meet all sorts of characters including dancing penguins, a snow princess and Father Christmas himself. The Snowman is also a remarkable introduction to dance for children. 

David Fry, Peacock Theatre Programmer, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming back The Snowman this Christmas. 26 years and counting, this wonderful show still retains all the magic that children associate with this time of year. In its innocence and simplicity, it takes us all back to our childhoods which is probably why it has endured so long. When The Snowman starts, so does Christmas!” 

Sean Foley, Birmingham Rep’s Artistic Director, said: “The Snowman is a Rep Original production that we’re incredibly proud of. It has become the longest running Christmas show in English theatre history, and we’re thrilled that Sadler’s Wells has given it a home for the past 26 years. Its magical and musical story never fades, and its message of kindness and friendship remains as strong today as when Raymond Briggs conceived the characters.” 

About Birmingham Rep

Birmingham Rep is the only producing theatre in the UK’s Second City. The theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman is celebrating its 29th anniversary as well as its 26th consecutive season at London’s Peacock. 
The Rep is the oldest building-based theatre company in the UK. It has an unparalleled pioneering history and has been at the forefront of theatre in this country for over 100 years. It is a registered charity (number 223660).  
The Rep’s mission is to create artistically ambitious popular theatre for, by, and with the people of Birmingham and the wider world.  
The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The Rep’s programme and over the last 15 years, the company has produced more than 130 new plays. As well as presenting over 60 productions on its three stages every year, the theatre tours its productions nationally and internationally.  

The Rep’s acclaimed learning and outreach programme is one of the largest and most diverse of any arts organisation in the country. Every year we have over 70,000 contacts with young people and adults in the community on projects from drama or writing workshops to large-scale productions. The Rep is also committed to nurturing new talent through its youth theatre groups, and it offers training for early career writers, directors, and artists through its ground-breaking Rep Foundry theatre-makers programme.  
Many of The Rep’s productions go on to have lives beyond Birmingham. Recent tours and transfers include The Play What I WroteAnimal FarmEast is EastThe Lovely BonesBrief EncounterNativity! The MusicalWhat ShadowsLOVEThe Winslow BoyThe Government InspectorOf Mice and MenAnita and MePenguins and The King’s Speech.  

About Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading dance organisation. We strive to make and share dance that inspires us all. Our acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap. 

We commission, produce and present more dance than any other organisation in the world. Since 2005, we have helped to bring more than 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknownOur acclaimed productions tour the world. Since 2005 we’ve produced 64 new full-length works and performed to audiences of more than two million, touring to 51 countries. 

Each year, over half a million people visit our three London theatres – Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio and Peacock Theatre. Millions more attend our touring productions nationally and internationally or explore our digital platforms, including Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. In 2024 we’re opening a fourth London venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sadler’s Wells East will house a 550-seat mid-scale theatre, as well as facilities for the Choreographic School and Hip Hop Theatre Academy. 

Supporting artists is at the heart of our work. We have associate artists and companies, which nurture some of the most exciting talent working in dance today. We host the National Youth Dance Company, which draws together some of the brightest young dancers from across the country. Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention runs professional development programmes to champion and develop the world’s best hip hop artists, as well as producing, programming and touring groundbreaking hip hop performances. 

Around 30,000 people take part in our learning and engagement programmes every year. We support schools local to our theatres in Islington and Stratford, designing experiences for children and young people to watch, explore and critically engage with the arts. We also run Company of Elders, a resident performance company of dancers aged over 60 who rehearse with renowned artists to make new work for public performances locally, nationally and internationally. 

Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. 

ALSO READ: Mahabharata: A spectacular retelling of the ancient Sanskrit epic, by Canada’s Why Not Theatre at Barbican London

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‘Gandhari’ comes alive in the age of willful blindness

The Mythologyworkshop presents Gandhari – The Mother Who Chose Not To See, in the Etcetera Theatre, Camden NW1, London. In blending the mythic with the modern, ‘Echoes of Gandhari’ is a deep dive into the legacy of Gandhari- that formidable, melancholy matriarch of the Mahabharata. A Preview feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Choosing to blindfold herself in solidarity with her husband- the blind King Dhritirasthra- Ghandari makes a decision that, in time, will cost her everything. Along the way we are introduced to the lives of three contemporary women, now struggling with motherhood and womanhood, and the ways in which they too, have chosen to metaphorically blind themselves. Each scene, whether poetic or modern, will offer a direct parallel to some part of Gandhari’s story, in an attempt to ask, what is the relevance of that mother’s tragedy today?

The play is the product of the international theatre workshop, Performing Mythological Characters In Contemporary Theatre, conducted in London.

Director of the workshop and co-writer, Tom Edward Kane recently spoke about the workshop and the play. “The objective of this workshop is to give performers an opportunity to explore complex methodological characters from their cultures. In this edition we explore Gandhari, one of the major characters in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, who has not been explored much in contemporary literature, cinema or theatre performances. Perhaps, it is the only play where we explore her in depth and find her to be more relevant and alive in the age of willful blindness that we are living in.”

The play is co-written and performed by Vaishali Chakravarty, an actor and the founder of Joy Of Drama a drama-in-education organization based in India. She is approaching the performance from her real life experience as a teacher where she has to meet mother everyday. “It’s not easy to be a woman and more so, a mother. As a teacher, I have to interact with mothers everyday and some of them are living a life much like Gandhari. They wear blindfolds of various kinds and choose not to see things that lead to some of the most important issues we are facing today.”

The play is directed by the RADA graduate Katie Georgiou, who takes a contemporary view of Gandhari. “One way of looking at performing a mythological character is a grand and colorful costume drama, nothing wrong with that but I wanted to put her in the world we live in today. In which shape and form do we see her around us or inside us? In the process, we may be able to make the audience look inwards and think about the choices that we have made in our lives.”

‘Gandhari- The Mother Who Chose Not To See’ will have five performances between Sep 26-30, 2023, including a special post-show discussion with the cast and crew on 30 Sep 2023.


Tom Edward Kane – Co-Writer & Workshop Director

Tom is an actor, writer and director from London and a graduate of RADA. His focus of creative research has been Indian Mythology and its complex characters. He has written and acted in several plays and short films. He is also a visiting faculty at RADA and an independent teacher.

Vaishali Chakravarty- Co-Writer & Actor

Vaishali is an actor and drama-in-education expert from New Delhi. She has trained and performed with the master Indian theatre practitioners Ima Sabitri Devi and Late Heisnam Kanhailal. She has performed in several productions with the Actor Factor Theatre Company. Her theatre credits include Anurag Kashyap’s Aakaar, Shashak Gupta’s The Leela Tapes, Munshi Premchand’s Kafan, Girish Karnad’s Bali and Sunit Sinha’s Khudgudi. Her performances have found special mentions in The Hindu, Indian Express and The Times of India.

Katie Georgiou – Director

Katie is an actor from Newcastle upon Tyne and a graduate of RADA (2008). Theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet (RSC), Heartbeat of El Salvador (Rise Theatre) Ms. (RADA Festival). Her directing credits include No Exit (Sartre) and Twelfth Night. She is thrilled to be directing this exciting re – imagining of the Gandhari story.

Shashwat Srivastava- Sound, Art And Communication Design

Shashwat is a music composer, actor, director, playwright and an advertising professional from New Delhi. His repertoire of work includes a number of theatre productions, feature films, documentaries, music albums and award winning advertising campaigns. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute Of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

About Mythologyworkshop Ltd

Mythologyworkshop is an organization founded by Tom Edward Kane to bring artists, scholars, performers and audiences together to explore the fascinating world of mythology, its stories and characters and how much these reflect upon our times. The company aims to organize workshops, shorts courses and produce plays and films on the subject.

About Joy Of Drama

Joy Of Drama is an organization dedicated to helping children and young adults develop intelligence and life skills through drama. Based in New Delhi, the organization conducts several long and short term programs and creates opportunities for young people to create theatre plays.


Theatre Festival comes back to cultural corridors of Delhi

Resonating with him, Pankaj Kapur adds, “I’m happy that such festivals are being held because it will enrich the Delhi audiences and will give us more opportunities to perform in front of people” …reports Asian Lite News

The fourth edition of India’s much anticipated theatre spectacular, the Delhi Theatre Festival, will soon return to the national capital’s cultural corridors after a three-year break. This year’s festival hopes to fully immerse theatre enthusiasts in the enchantment and grandeur of the performing arts by building on its prior accomplishments.

Delhi Theatre Festival 2023 will take place from August 4 to August 6 and span three incredible days. To provide a genuinely immersive theatrical experience, this year’s host venues include cutting-edge locations like Siri Fort Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium, and OP Jindal Auditorium in New Delhi and the prestigious Orana Conventions in Gurugram.

With an impressive line-up comprising of 7 homegrown plays performed across three days, audiences can expect to be enthralled by critically acclaimed performances by eminent theatre luminaries such as Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Piyush Mishra, Lillete Dubey, Shekhar Suman, Vinay Pathak, Shabana Azmi, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and Kanwaljit Singh. The line-up includes plays such as Ismat Apa Ke Naam, Dopehri, Vodka & No Tonic, Ballimaaraan, Ek Haan, Nothing Like Lear and Kaifi Aur Main

Prabhu Tony, COO and Co-Founder, Alchemist Live, envisions the Delhi Theatre Festival as a global platform for theatre enthusiasts. He shares, “The overwhelming response to the last three seasons has inspired us to create an even more diverse and engaging fourth season.  We are very proud to have established a platform where theatre will thrive and envision the annual ‘Delhi Theatre Festival’ to be the breeding ground for theatre in India. As we embark on a brand-new season, we plan to enthral our audience with iconic acts. Their presence is certain to elevate the theatrical offerings to unprecedented heights, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all attendees.  This endeavour reflects our commitment to expanding the horizons of theatre and fostering a vibrant community of creative talent”.

A longstanding patron of the festival, Naseeruddin Shah says, “It is our pleasure, Motley’s and mine to be at Delhi Theatre Festival for the fourth year in a row and it’s always wonderful to be a part of the festival because it spreads awareness about the various kinds of plays that are being done. Plus, the Delhi audience has always been very special for me because I learnt my craft here in the drama school in 1970. We hope that we will continue to be a part of the Delhi Theatre Festival.”

Resonating with him, Pankaj Kapur adds, “I’m happy that such festivals are being held because it will enrich the Delhi audiences and will give us more opportunities to perform in front of people”

Shekhar Suman whose play is showing in the region for the very first time says, “I am privileged to bring our play ‘Ek Haan’ that is based on the life of Saadat Hasan Manto, for the first time to the Delhi audience and especially at American Express presents Delhi Theatre Festival Season 4.”

The Delhi Theatre Festival 2023 is poised to be an extraordinary celebration of the performing arts, captivating audiences with its unrivalled theatrical prowess and awe-inspiring talent. Established as the pinnacle of theatrical destinations in India, the Delhi Theatre Festival has captivated the hearts of theatre aficionados with its’ exceptional repertoire of extraordinary performances and this season promises to be no exception. From thought-provoking dramas that explore the depths of the human experience to spellbinding musicals that ignite the senses, each production will leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Ismat Apa Ke Naam – Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Hiba Shah

Enter the enchanting world of Ismat Chughtai, the trailblazing feminist and literary genius, through a captivating solo act. Naseeruddin Shah brings to life the compelling stories of Ismat Apa in three remarkable acts: ‘Gharwali,’ ‘Mughal Bachcha,’ and ‘Chhui Muee.’ Prepare to be enthralled as Shah takes you on a mesmerising journey through the powerful narratives of this literary icon.

Dopehri – Pankaj Kapur

Immerse yourself in the streets of Lucknow and step into the world of Amma Bi, an elderly woman on a transformative journey. Pankaj Kapur’s novella comes alive on stage, transporting you through the emotions, solitude, and self-discovery of a 65-year-old woman residing in a magnificent haveli. Prepare for a theatrical experience that combines lights, music, and the evocative storytelling of Kapur’s masterpiece.

Vodka & No Tonic – Lillete Dubey, Ira Dubey, Joy Sengupta

Step into the world of “Lockdown Liaisons,” a collection of captivating short stories penned by acclaimed writer Shobhaa De. Join Lillete Dubey on a compelling exploration of the fragility of human relationships within the confines of home. Through varying perspectives, this poignant play examines love, upheaval, and the transformations that emerged during the extraordinary times of the pandemic.

Ballimaaraan- Piyush Mishra

Embark on a musical journey paying tribute to the legendary poet Mirza Ghalib with Ballimaaraan, a band that blends genres and emotions. Inspired by the lanes of Delhi where Ghalib once resided, experience the fusion of retro and contemporary tunes. Piyush Mishra’s heartfelt lyrics bring an engaging conversation to life, creating a youthful and rebellious energy that resonates with audiences.

Ek Haan – Shekhar Suman, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Transport yourself to the post-Partition era of 1951 and delve into the life and writings of renowned writer Manto. Through the eyes of Kashmiri journalist Wazira, played by Shekhar Suman, explores the enigmatic relationship between Wazira and Manto. As their interactions unfold, Manto’s finest stories come alive on stage, shedding light on his life and his fierce feminism. Experience a powerful narrative that resonates with the present cultural and political climate.

Nothing Like Lear – Vinay Pathak

Vinay Pathak’s spellbinding performance in “Nothing Like Lear” offers a fresh and contemporary take on Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy. Pathak’s impeccable portrayal of a man grappling with power, family, and personal demons promises a riveting experience that pushes the boundaries of theatrical storytelling.

Kaifi Aur Main – Shabana Azmi, Kanwaljit Singh, Jaswinder Singh

Immerse yourself in the extraordinary love story of renowned poet Kaifi Azmi and his wife Shaukat Kaifi. Let veteran actors Shabana Azmi and Kanwaljit Singh take you on an immersive journey through the life of Kaifi Azmi. Experience the heartfelt narration of his early years, courtship, and the magic of Bombay in the 1950s. Accompanied by soul-stirring performances by Jaswinder Singh and a live orchestra, this play reading celebrates the remarkable moments of Kaifi’s life and his lyrical legacy.

Tickets can be booked on BookMyShow.

ALSO READ-New Comedy Musical Mrs. Doubtfire at Shahftesbury Theatre, London

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The rebellion play brings more questions than answers

Written by a young Gujarat-based writer Chaitali Das, the play opens up with a conversation around masturbation and why it’s alright if women want to experience desire and pleasure. A reference to a vibrator in a play in Gujarat – is worth noting…reports Janhvi Sonaiya

While Gujarat was battling with one of the worst cyclones this week, there was another wave too – this one was of feminism.

At the experimental theatre space Prayogshala in Ahmedabad, a bunch of young girls could be seen in loose black clothes, without makeup, dancing to Bollywood songs on unchoreographed steps – everything liberating that a woman would do in her room; they were doing it on stage.

In Gujarat, people cannot afford to take a stand – be it political or feminist, because no one wants to do anything that might disturb his/her dhandha, business. Here, ‘Voh Ladkiyon Wala Natak’ comes as a breath of fresh air. The all-woman, non-linear piece of theatre (rebellion actually) is centred around women and their take on love, lust, anger, frustration and various other emotions. This Gujarat-based production has also performed at Thespo Theatre Festival, Mumbai.

Written by a young Gujarat-based writer Chaitali Das, the play opens up with a conversation around masturbation and why it’s alright if women want to experience desire and pleasure. A reference to a vibrator in a play in Gujarat – is worth noting.

In another scene, a youngster Durga (a reference to the goddess) is seen fighting against Mahishasura but in the middle of the yuddha (war) — Durga gets a phone call from her family (Lord Shiva) about where the milk is? What’s the OTP? And who will bring their little Ganesha home? With humour, they address the glorification done around women and multitasking.

One of the leading characters in the play, Kamala, is played by Preeti Das. She is Laadli awardee journalist, now, an academician, who talks about feminism through comedy and theatre.

Das said, “These young girls were tired of the male narrative in theatre and in life in general and therefore, they came up with their side of the story.” Other team members include Teertha, Anannya, Aayushi, Neha, Lipi, Yashi, Kanksha, Chaitali, Snigdha and Paridhi.

There are moments in the play where one could feel like they said out loud, what you have been feeling and experiencing as a woman for so long. After all, the idea of suppression is universal. At the end of the play, the women come together and talk and talk…and a character says “Ladkiya to sirf baate kar sakti hain, nahi!” (Women can only talk, right!?) With this, the houseful audience gave thundering applause.

The end brings more questions than answers. Can violence ever be called love? As a housewife, what is my purpose in this relationship? Is it alright if women don’t meet the beauty standards set for them?

The play gives the feel-good factor of breakfast, not the satisfaction of lunch. But the silver lining is, some at least scratched the surface in a state where everyone else is too scared of taking a stand – politically or otherwise.

ALSO READ-Vibgyor launches its first theatre festival

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An Unforgettable Theatrical Experience: Saiyaan Be-imaan

Theatricalls production’s award-winning play, an enchanting and amusing theatrical show that has captivated audiences of all ages- “Saiyaan Be-imaan” is an absolute must-see performance, featuring two couples from different generations whose lives intersect in surprising ways. A exclusive feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International newspaper.

The play set in India follows the story of an elderly couple and their long-time bachelor friend, with the husband’s constant worry that his wife and the aged friend have grown a little too fond of each other. Meanwhile, the other couple, despite being very much in love, finds themselves caught up in a situation that leads to suspicions of infidelity.

As the story unfolds, the audiences are introduced to a cast of delightful and charming characters, including a few antagonists, who add to the humor and drama of the play. Furthermore, “Saiyaan Be-imaan” touches on the challenges faced by the elderly in their twilight years, making it a heartfelt and thought-provoking story.

“We are thrilled to share this incredible play with our audiences, especially on the occasion of Mother’s Day,” said Nupur Khosla, the show curator & founder of Theatricalls production. “With its perfect blend of  comedy, drama, and heartwarming moments, this show is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on everyone who sees it.” 

Nupur Khosla, founder of Theatricalls production is passionate about showcasing intimate and contemporary theatre events. The content is modern and resonates with today’s times. 

Featuring a talented ensemble of 9 actors, a breathtaking set design, and expert direction, this theatrical experience is one not to be missed. This Hindi language play which was a 90 min show, at Select City Walk was an exceptionally unforgettable show with stellar performances, excellent set design, brilliant direction, superb dialogues and overall heartwarming performances. The Play has won awards for best actor and best production at the Natsamrat awards for recognition in theatre. 

About the Director: Mr Sanjeev Johri is trained under NSD stalwarts like B.V.Karanth, Pankaj Kapur and Nadira Zaheer Babbar. He has performed several lead and major roles in plays directed by thespians like Rajinder Nath, Panchanan Pathak and Barry John. He trained in direction under the National Award winning director Joy Michael. He has directed plays for Abhiyaan, Osho World, Jesus and Mary college and many more institutions of repute. He has also written several full length plays.

About the Producer: Nupur Khhosla is the show curator and founder of Theatricalls production who is the first & only modern day theatre show presenter in Delhi NCR. She is an actor and has over a decade long experience in the corporate in the field of Marketing & Brand Management. She is passionate about showcasing theatre events in an intimate setting and in super theatre format for the contemporary theatre enthusiasts. Her plays are staged at venues like The Quorum Club, Camelias Club, Piano Man & The Roseate House. The content is modern and resonates with today’s times. 

Theatricalls produce plays that are experimental and provide a holistic theatrical experience in exclusive venues. Their forte is storytelling with an exceptional visual and sound experience. They collaborate with talent from different walks of life who bring their rich life journeys that makes content resonate with discerning audiences. They are an audience friendly theatre group who also curate dinner theatre experiences. Highly Recommend catching their shows! 

ALSO READ: NCPA gears up for annual Marathi Theatre Festival

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‘Energy and magic of theatre can’t be replicated’

What is special about the sixth season is the fact that Aadyam crosses the ‘Mumbai barrier’ and has included plays, actors and directors from other regions as well…writes Sukant Deepak

Back on stage after two years of hiatus owing to the pandemic, the sixth season of Aadyam Theatre, an initiative by the Aditya Birla Group, boasts of a mix of the proscenium and experimental shows that will be performed in both Mumbai and Delhi. This is besides several new theatre-centric activities, housed under ‘Aadyam Spotlight’, such as theatre podcasts, workshops, a theatre club, and an exclusive theatre blog.

“It feels brilliant to be back again to physical theatre. Frankly, it’s like we are breathing anew,” smiles Shernaz Patel, Artistic Director (along with Nadir Khan) of Aadyam Theatre, who believes that digital theatre born during the pandemic in India, though gave an opportunity to perform or create but was mostly consumed by the theatre community.

“Theatre is a live medium and its energy and magic just cannot be replicated on the computer screen,” she asserts.

What is special about the sixth season is the fact that Aadyam crosses the ‘Mumbai barrier’ and has included plays, actors and directors from other regions as well.

With stress on work that appeals to a larger audience, the curation committee comprising Kyla Dsouza, Purva Naresh, Ira Dubey and Patel was looking for multiple genres, diverse themes and different styles to make the season stand out.

“We have urban and rural stories, musicals… for us it had always been important to have solid themes handled by visionary directors, something that makes this season extremely well-rounded,” she says.

Talk to Patel about the fact that the few corporates funding theatre limit themselves to groups, mostly in Mumbai and she admits it is tough to get them on board at the developmental level.

“I honestly feel that it is the government that needs to step in, just like we see in the West. The corporate sector is already doing enough for other areas through its CSR activities. For grassroots work, developmental work, supporting young, new theatre talent and experimentation… it is the government that needs to do the needful.”

While one witnesses several emerging writers in prose in India, actor and director feels that there are not many emerging voices when it comes to writing for theatre, though an award like the annual Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Award gets over a hundred entries each year.

“Let us not forget that there is no money in this medium. So if a person really knows the craft of dialogue writing, he will go to films or television. Young playwrights do emerge from time to time, but then life takes over. When we talk about modern Indian writing, we are still referring to what was written three generations before. Should it not be by writers who are in their twenties?” says Patel, who finished shooting for an OTT show in November.

ALSO READ-Ishara int’l puppet theatre festival to kick off soon

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Ishara int’l puppet theatre festival to kick off soon

At the Festival, Italy will showcase IL FIL’ARMONICO, which will be performed by Teatro Tages/Agostino Cacciabue/Rita Xaxa and directed by Agostino Cacciabue. The performance will present stories and comic vignettes, inspired by puppeteer Cacciabue’s own life…reports Asian Lite News

The Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival is back for its 19th edition this year, and will take place from February 14 to 20 at the India Habitat Centre in the national capital, and February 13 to 16 at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh. Produced by Teamwork Arts, it is largely supported by the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust.

First launched in 2001, the International Puppet Festival brings together puppeteers, artists, and performers from around the globe to celebrate storytelling through puppetry. This year, it is set to showcase a diverse range of storylines and techniques.

Alongside puppeteers from India, there will be performers from countries, including Holland, Hungary, Italy and Korea. Festival Director and Founder of The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, Dadi D. Pudumjee said, “India’s longest-running puppet festival has returned after a gap of three years due to the pandemic. We are expecting to see those who want to enter the fantastic world of the willing suspension of disbelief. This year, there will be many puppet shows that will take you to a world of fantasy… for instance, India will present ‘Aisha’s Journey’, a performance that has been adapted from a Swedish children’s book.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts added, “The 19th Ishara International Puppet Festival brings together productions from India and abroad. Over the years, the Festival has created opportunities for training, storytelling and innovation, leading to a vibrant and contemporary language of puppetry in India.”

At the Festival, Italy will showcase IL FIL’ARMONICO, which will be performed by Teatro Tages/Agostino Cacciabue/Rita Xaxa and directed by Agostino Cacciabue. The performance will present stories and comic vignettes, inspired by puppeteer Cacciabue’s own life.

A Korean performance by Theatre Sangsahwa will present ‘Korea Puppet Fantasy’, directed by Bonsuk Kim. The performance will show Korea’s rich cultural heritage. Puppets, dance and music will blend together and pay homage to Korea’s past, present and future.

From Hungary, the Kamfor Musical Puppet Theatre will be presenting a performance titled ‘The Dragon and the Devil’, based on traditional Hungarian folktales. This performance will transport the audience to a spellbinding world full of magic, adventure, and mystery. In addition, the Netherlands will bring ‘Jan Klaassen, Katrijin and the Crown of King William Alexander’, performed and directed by Frans Hakkemars –straight from the land of the windmills and Van Gogh, it’s a unique celebration of Dutch culture.

More than a hundred international puppetry groups have already performed at the Festival. The list includes the US, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Afghanistan, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Ireland, Iran and Australia.

ALSO READ-German Ambassador hails Kochi Muziris Biennale

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Artists back on stage with full glory

The play was a runner-up at the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Awards 2016. Shikhandi was also awarded Best Play at the Laadli Media Awards 2017, and Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor (Female) at META 2018…reports N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE

It’s an exciting time as the spotlight is back and shining in its full glory with artists on stage. With a mix of live and screened events in a variety of languages, the NCPA is abuzz with a fantastic line-up of presentations.

The programme ranges from classic plays to new writing, physical theatre, musicals, live and streamed broadcasts, spoken word, classic cinema, and stand-up comedy, created and performed by the very best local, national and international artists.

This is a comic, tongue-in-cheek retelling of the story of Shikhandi. Mixing the traditional with the contemporary, the play questions maleness, femaleness, and everything in between. Shikhandi is perhaps one of the earliest trans characters known in mythology. Shikhandi was meant to be born male to avenge an insult in her past life as Amba. But the bigger karmic game unfolds when she is reborn as female, raised as male, has a sex change on her wedding night, thanks to a Yaksha, and finally fulfills her destiny to be the cause of Bhishma’s death.

The play was a runner-up at the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Awards 2016. Shikhandi was also awarded Best Play at the Laadli Media Awards 2017, and Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor (Female) at META 2018.

English Play (with some Hindi – 90 mins)

Venue Experimental Theatre

Friday, December 2 – 7.30 p.m.

Sunday, December 3 – 5.00 pm & 7.30 p.m.

The play, based on a film that was adapted from Reginald Rose’s teleplay at the time, begins with an eighteen-year-old boy from a slum who is on trial for the murder of his abusive father. A jury of twelve people is locked in the deliberation room to decide the fate of the young boy. All evidence is against the boy and a guilty verdict would send him to the electric chair. But the judgment must be unanimous. Even before they begin a discussion, it is apparent that most of the jurors are certain the boy is guilty. While most jurors have already decided on the fate of the boy, one vote of not guilty opens Pandora’s box and a forced deliberation begins. Slowly, but surely, each member of the jury is forced to confront the facts on hand and open his/her mind to the possibilities that exist outside them and shine a light on the kind of person he/she actually is. Originally produced for Aadyam, an Aditya Birla Group Initiative, this production of Twelve Angry Jurors is presented by a special amateur license arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.

English Play (90 mins with Intervals)

Venue – Experimental Theatre

Sunday, December 4 – 5.00 p.m. & 8.00 p.m.

OCD is a light comedy about a carefree young man and his obsessed OCD-suffering servant. A kind of role reversal where the servant is after a master’s life to keep things neat, clean, and in order. And how in an effort to keep his master’s house in order the servant starts trying to cross boundaries and set his life in order by trying to control his relationship matters. The protagonist is a turbaned Rajasthani butler called OC chacha, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because of this, he is always striving to keep things ridiculously neat and tidy, which makes him the ideal domestic help on paper.

But that’s not always the case, especially when his idiosyncrasies get in the way of his master Rohan’s lifestyle and eventually relationships. For instance, he believes the furniture in the house should only be arranged at particular angles, doesn’t like even numbers, and is convinced that one should stay away from women because nothing good can come out of associating with the fairer sex! But since OC chacha has been a part of Rohan’s family for years and is an almost treasured heirloom, it is difficult for Rohan to get rid of him.

The play is a funny take on human eccentricities wherein every individual in this world has some or the other quirky habit but he or she feels that the other person is weird and anyone who does not adhere to majority norms is considered a freak. We all want to love and be loved but are afraid of commitments and are insecure about love, life, and everything around us. The play delves into this psyche of human nature.

English and Hindi play (100 mins)

Venue – Godrej Dance Theatre

Saturday, December 10 – 5.00 pm

A theatre company decides to do a play on international woman’s day. The subject decided by the director creates discomfort among the actors. The play evokes laughter at the hypocrisy! A- 2 act play is a compelling watch for all, above 18.

Hindi play (120 mins)

Venue – Experimental Theatre

Saturday, December 10 – 7.30 pm

A world premiere of contemporary dance based on Kathak is going to be performed solo by Aditi Mangaldas called FORBIDDEN on December 4, 2022. The event is commissioned by Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company – The Drishtikon Dance Foundation & co-commissioned by National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai Sadler’s Wells, London.

Female sexuality is private, but still, the taboos around it need and demand that we take a stand on universal, public, and personal grounds. History demonstrates a fundamental disdain for female sexual desire. Why are women across the world, in both conservative and liberal nations, sanctioned, assessed, controlled, persecuted, shamed, and eventually punished for having the courage to embrace their desire? Here is a creative expression- FORBIDDEN which has been released after months of internalization, debate, troughs, and peaks as each collaborator offered nuance to the work. The concept, dance, and choreography are by Aditi Mangaldas.

Venue: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre

Date & Time: December 4 2022 | 6:00 pm

Price: Member Price- Rs.630, 450 & 270/- (Inclusive of GST)

Non-Member Price- Rs.700, 500 & 300/- (Inclusive of GST)

Duration: 75 minutes

Age Limit: 18+

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India News Obituary Theatre

Ad, theatre veteran Burjor Patel passes away

In his long career spanning over six decades in the Gujarati theatre and ad world, Birhor had worked with The Statesman of Kolkata and the Khaleej Times of Dubai…reports Asian Lite News.

Veteran advertising and theatre personality Burjor Patel, passed away here on Tuesday, his family announced.

He was 91 and the end came mainly due to old age.

Patel was the husband of the late theatre actress Ruby Patel and father of well-known TV actress Shernaz Patel, son mediaperson Marzban, and another daughter Feeroza.

In his long career spanning over six decades in the Gujarati theatre and ad world, Burjor had worked with The Statesman of Kolkata and the Khaleej Times of Dubai.

Leading people from both the industries in India and the UAE have condoled the passing of Patel.

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