The Prithvi Theatre Festival Returns To The Floorboards
For two years now, the city has had a Prithvi-sized hole in its cultural calendar as the theatre’s annual festival was put on hold. It’s back this year, from Saturday, November 3 to Sunday, November 18, and provides a good opportunity to catch up on plays you might have missed. The 21 play line-up includes a number of productions by theatre groups that regularly perform at the venue. Usually the annual festival is arranged around a theme—past editions have focused on, for instance, short plays; plays from across the country; and musicals. The scale of this year’s festival is more modest as it, lamentably, has no sponsor. But it’s no less a celebration of the “Prithvi spirit” for theatre groups have rallied together to make the festival possible.
The oldies include Nadira Zaheer Babbar’s Hindi drama Begum Jaan, in which an aging classical music singer reminisces about her life; Kaifi Aur Main, a tribute in Hindi to the Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi enacted by his daughter Shabana Azmi (who plays her mother Shaukat Kaifi) and son-in-law Javed Akhtar (who plays Kaifi Azmi); and Sir Sir Sarla, Makrand Deshpande’s Hindi drama about the strange ménage à trois of a teacher and his two students. Some of the more recent plays to watch out for are Sunil Shanbag’s Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon, a spirited Gujarati version of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well; Rajat Kapoor’s Nothing Like Lear, a one-man act in English and gibberish based on Shakespeare’s King Lear; and Tichee 17 Prakarne, a Marathi drama by the wonderful Pune-based theatre group Aasakta, in which the titular character is described over 17 episodes.
There’s also Hard Places, a collaboration between the Indian playwright Farhad Sorabjee and British director Chris White, in which two siblings try to rescue their mother who is across the border. A new addition to the festival is the Acoustic Sunday Jam performances, which will feature musicians such as percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, sitar player Niladri Kumar and jazz pianist Louiz Banks. The festival will end with a “carnival”, a medley of performances by theatrewallahs such as Alyque Padamsee, Ila Arun, Naseeruddin Shah and the Dastangoi duo of Danish Hussain and Mahmood Farooqui. For the complete schedule, see here.Tags: Aasakta, Begum Jaan, Danish Hussain, Dastangoi, Hard Places, Javed Akhtar, Mahmood Farooqui, Makrand Deshpande, Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon, Nadira Zaheer Babbar, Nothing Like Lear, plays, Prithvi Theatre, Prithvi Theatre Festival, Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Sir Sir Sarla, Sunil Shanbag, Theatre, Tichee 17 Prakarne
Location20 Janki Kutir
Juhu Church Road
Phone022 2614 9546
Relevant DatesSaturday, November 3 to Sunday, November 18
Ticketing & Price InfoRs300 and Rs500