Compiled by Nishita Jha
Apparently the universe has shifted on its axis. Rumour has it that southern superstar Rajinikanth, fearing loss of sales in the Hindi-belt, has delayed the Diwali release of his film with Deepika Padukone, Kochadaiyaan, so that it doesn’t clash with Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Son of Sardar. We thought Diwali came when Rajni said so. After Rowdy Rathore, though, it’s Sonakshi who is the bomb, and Rajni bouncing back from a health scare may be worried about being a damp squib. It’s time to rewrite the epics, as we light up this year with sardar jokes over 3D fireworks.
Pitobash gets a cold shoulder
Actor Pitobash played only the most pivotal character in Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai, yet the man is suffering from an acute lack of attention. While Banerjee swears that he never distinguishes between stars and actors on sets, evidently the red carpet is no place for egalitarianism. Pitobash confessed that he was “heartbroken” about attendingShanghai’s premiere at IIFA as a guest and not as part of the film crew. To add insult to injury, he was left out of the film’s music launch as well. Is there no man that politics will not corrupt, Mr Banerjee?
It’s holiday season and we know the beach we want to hang out at. Actor Hrithik Roshan and his buddyArjun Rampal have taken the party to Bali with wives and kids in tow. Forget the swimsuit photoshoots and calendars people, the pictures of this vacation alone would sell in millions. However, the real hook has got to be those meaningful conversations and long, lingering looks between BFFs. Between Hrithik’s recent weight issues and Arjun’s range of three expressions, are we the only ones seeing reality TV gold?
‘Dialogue and debate from street plays inspire change’
WHO: Delhi-based theatre veteran Arvind Gaur heads the Asmita Theatre Group. His directions of Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq and Bhisham Sahni’s Hanoosh have been critically acclaimed. He is the recipient of Radha Krishna Award, 2007, and the Karmaveer Puraskaar 2008.
What factors into the success of Court Martial, your longest running play?
Court Martial is on social and caste-based discrimination, which remain relevant. It has inspired people to raise their voice against oppression. Be it the farmer asking for land rights or the common worker protesting pay cuts, the central theme finds a reflection in their fights; the right of every individual to live with dignity.
Difference between street and stage theatre?
Street plays are direct and immediately involve the varied audience. From this sense of urgency is born dialogue and debate. That in turn inspires the individual to dare to change and take initiative. My street play Pustakalay ya Madiralay in Bihar, lead to libraries cropping up.
How does your background influence your work?
My engineering background helps me visualise and design the play. Journalism exposed me to socio-political issues. It gave me direction and sensitised me towards people and their issues. Television taught me editing that helps keep the audience’s focus and portray precisely what I want.
Why are solo performances important to you?
A solo performance use one actor to communicate the entire idea of the play. It goes beyond conventional realms of theatre, and I can use multimedia creatively. In my play on child mortality, one actor played eight characters. Once, I used a TV discussion show format as the space for an actor to play many characters.
How do foreign audiences react to India-centric plays?
Although foreign audiences don’t follow Hindi, there is an enthusiasm to understand India’s socio-political makeup. I adopt multimedia techniques using communicative formats. An actor paint on stage making the play visually communicative. Songs convey difficult emotions. Synopsis and post play interactive sessions lend the audience a better grasp of the topic.