Interesting plays to be staged at the 16th edition of Thespo!by The Daily Eye Team December 12 2014, 11:50 pm Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins, 49 secs
Covering themes ranging from social injustice, urbanization and mental disorders, the festival’s plays stay true to its tradition of creating an eclectic, diverse viewing experience
Mumbai: With its mission to attract the youngest, freshest talent from the theatre world, Thespo is all set to excite, entertain and enthrall with its full-length plays at the 16th edition of Thespo, the annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25. Taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014, the festival is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’.
This year, all the five final plays of this year’s competition are of regional languages including Bengali, Hindi and Marathi. Covering themes ranging from social injustice, urbanization and mental disorders, the festival’s plays stay true to its tradition of creating an eclectic, diverse viewing experience.
Plays – Normal
- Stay at the edge of your seats with Mumbai- bred Khushboo Upadhyay’s direction and writer Anthony Neilson’s Normal which is a gripping account of the real-life German serial killer Peter Kurten who, in Germany in 1931 was convicted of the murders of eight people. In Neilson’s semi-fictional account, we meet Kurten in his cell, being interviewed by his counsel, Justus Wehner, for the defense. Follow their tale and get a glimpse into the mind of a man who can put Hannibal Lecter to shame.
Plays – Tomar Dake
- Tomar Dake from Kolkata, Written and Directed by Suvojit Bandyopadhyay is inspired by Malala Yousufzai. Tomar Dake is a visually striking portrayal of social injustice and violence in North and West Asian countries. It is a call to break the monarchy that tramples upon human rights in the name of democracy.
Play – Castle Of Glass
- Castle of Glass is a delicately intense tale of Kumar Devdhar, an artist who believes he is eternally trapped in a mental institution unless someone else takes his place. It is written by Sujay Jadhav and directed by Parag Bapat from Pune.
Play – Tambola
- Written and directed by Akshay Kapoor from Kolakata is about three ordinary men – a compulsive gambler, a down-on-his-luck garage owner and a jobless I.T. employee – in desperate need for money hatch a plan to rob a bank and end up committing one extraordinary crime. And that’s when fate plays a nasty game with them… Not for the faint hearted; a comedy so funny that it hurts!
Play – Walking Path
- Walking Path a play from Sri Lanka Written by Ruwanthie De Chickera and directed by Jayampathi Guruge which is created on the several walking paths of Colombo, the play wordlessly examines the relentless, urban beautification drive in post-war Sri Lanka. A story about the people who throng the paths and the ones who are tasked with maintaining them. It is a reflection of the post-war psychology of Sri Lankan society and how it is being created, sustained and changed.
Play – Falls 2-11
- A play from UK written and directed by Rachael Clerke and Josephine Joy are thinking about how we fall, where we fall, and what it might mean to give in to gravity. In a city that could be anyone’s, mass protests sweep first the internet and then the streets, toppling an unstable government and creating a moment of uncertainty; a tipping point. With writing gathered from an open call out, original music, and a haphazard chain-reaction machine built live on stage, Falls 2-11 is our unofficial onlooker’s history of falling.
THE PLATFORM PERFORMANCES
At Thespo 16, you can watch the magic of theatre come alive on the spot with its spontaneous platform performances.
Play Happy Ending:
- Look out for ‘Happy Ending’, written and directed by Pune’s Dhananjay Mhasawade and Jayesh Newgi respectively, where the protagonist takes matters in his own hands, literally, as things go awry, to ensure he gets his happy ending
Play ‘TRP Ka Zamana Hai’:
- Bangalore’s Jatin Gupta & Tanya Arora with ‘TRP Ka Zamana Hai’, a critique of the Indian media, the fourth pillar of democracy, which to them is in the business of making rather than breaking news
Play Hum Ghum Ho Gaye:
- Written and Directed by Aniket Jaiswal from Delhi attempts to give voice to nomadic and de-notified tribes, which are 100 million of India’s population and tell the world about their problems. It also puts light on their present situation that is even worse than the Dalits: abundant of atrocity cases, no education & employment opportunities and complete violation of their human rights.
- Aparajeeta, written and directed by Aanchal Shrivastav, which is a one-woman monologue of a woman who seeks existence. Having always been rejected from the world, this performance is her story, her struggle, her journey.
THE FRINGE PERFORMANCES
With its effort to demonstrate the purity and simplicity of theatre without the frills, Thespo 16’s fringe performances are sure to impress.
Play – Violence Against Women Project
- ‘Violence Against Women Project’, conceptualized by Gillian Clark, an interdisciplinary Theatre Artist hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It will mark two years since the Delhi Gang Rape with a cross-cultural discussion on the meaning of sexual violence against women in urban India and Canada. The question she is looking to answer is how can we use social media to unite us and catalyst global and cross-cultural discussions about sexual violence against women?
Play – Avyakt
- Avyakt Is a Marathi fringe performance Written and Directed by Yugandhar Deshpande. Its about a retired school clerk wishes to share his life story with someone. So what does he do? Knock on a stranger’s door, of course! An unexpected conversation ensues with the person on the other side.
Play – Lehar Badlav Ki
- Lehar Badlav Ki is a fringe from Nagpur, that talks about a global issue. In the face of the power crisis faced by the citizens of our country, the students of New Apostolic English High School have an interesting insight to share on energy conservation and generation. So don’t be fuelish and catch this performance written by Mrunalini Apte and Director Atul Somkuwar.
Play – Buddhon Ki Mauj
- The play is a situational comedy of four old men. The play takes a humorous turn on the old age and takes stupidity to a new height. With the gang comprising of a lecherous gambling man, a pious guy, a notoriously stupid and a temperamental one; these guys were bound to be in a mishap. Written and Directed by Yash Chandrana and Animesh Sharma from Gandhinagar.
Play – The Private Ear
- The play is set in a musky Delhi bedsit, where reclusive Neel, normally used to giving his full attention to his record collection, calls in a favour from Daman, his slick, confident friend, to help him treat his date, the beautiful but shy Dhriti, to a slap up meal. Written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Keshav Moodliar from Delhi.
As Thespo has established itself as the haven of all art forms, it will also include a film screening in association with Alliance Francaise Bombay of ‘Ariane Mnouchknine- L’ Aventure du Theatre du Soleil’ (1974). In this film, Catherine Vilpoux recounts Ariane Mnouchkine’s iconic artistic journey: her inspirations, her dreams for the theatre, her love of cinema, her unique and extraordinary bond with audiences. Extensive archival material – much of which has never been seen before – together with extracts from performances and rehearsals, as well as interviews and coverage of various tours and travels, reveal an in-depth portrait of the Théâtre du Soleil, and its artistic and political commitment both in France and internationally, for which it was awarded the International Ibsen Award in September 2009. Everyone who has seen one of Ariane Mnouchkine’s productions at the Théatre du Soleil in Paris leaves with the feeling of having been part of a tale of enchantment. A tale that is larger than life but at the same time reveals life. A fantastic journey that throws fresh light on history and contemporary society, that enriches though and feeling, and in dramatic language inspires an apparently paradoxical faith in the future.
There will also be a dramatized play reading in association with the Goethe Institute where Daniel D’Souza, a young director, will create a short performance from plays of Roland Schimmelpfennig, an award-winning German theatre director and playwright, who is one of Germany’s most prolific playwrights, widely praised in Europe. His work is said to vary from “kaleidoscopic” and dreamlike to naturalistic.
This year, Thespo has scoured through a record total of 186 entries from across India, Sri Lanka and Canada, to curate a fresh bouquet of 6 full-length plays, 6 platform performances and 7 fringe performances. Organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s.
For information on the complete schedule of events, ticket prices, etc., please visitwww.thespo.org.