Theatre Speaks

Pranati Prakash Rai

Which is the last play you liked and why?
MAHANAGAR KE JUGNU because of its soulful reflection on the life of artists.

Your favourite Adda to see a play…
Prithvi cafe

Your favourite playwright…
Vijay Tendulkar as of now as I play one of his characters, Benaare.

Your favourite play-character…

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?
KHAAMOSH ADAALAT JAARI HAI since it’s a major reflection of the society we live in and how it constantly dominates women into living suppressed lives and victimising them time and again. I think it a very intelligently written play and talks a lot about the world we live in, the inter-personal relationships with wit and humour.

A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?
ALICE IN WONDERLAND, for the sheer magic it can wow us with on the stage!

The most hilarious play you have seen...
Recently I watched PATNA KA SUPERHERO, it was very funny, I laughed a lot, mostly because the humour was also very relatable as it’s based on a city I know of.

A play, which is over-hyped…
I don’t think I know of one. Mostly the ones I’ve watched have been worth it!

An important play (but ignored):
KISSA URDU KI AAKHIRI KITAABH KA has a purposeful message which must be amplified.

A play character you would like to “dialogue” with…
Julius Ceaser!

A passage from an important play that you can recite…
From the recent play I’m performing, KHAAMOSH ADAALAT JAARI HAI…” Insaan hamesha lamba tikona chowkona mooh banakar kyun rhe? Zindagi jeeni hai toh khub hanso, gayo, khelo, koodo, nachne ko mil jaye toh nacho bhi. Koi sharm, haya, sankoch nhi. Sach kehti hoon. Accha batayiye, aapki zindagi barbaad ho gayi toh koi dega apni zindagi?”

A classical play that you should have read…
To be honest, there are many plays I am yet to read. However, to pick one, I’d say SHAKUNTALA by Kalidasa.

A play that changed your perception about the theatre…
I’ve had a similar perception of theatre since childhood. The depth in which I understand now has definitely increased.

How do you regard the Mumbai/Indian theatre scene?
Buzzing creativity, lots of inspiration around.

Have you read any interesting books/articles concerning the theatre? Why did you find them interesting?
Not that I can remember

Can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous during your theatre Journey?
I lost my watch at the venue after one play. A watch I had recently gifted myself for Valentines! This shook me for a day as a co-actor is under suspicion for having stolen it. I cried a lot post that. So much so, that it had a direct impact on the intensity of my character in the performance on the next day. Made everyone in the audience cry. It’s interesting how real world experiences might have parallels on stage when it comes to emotions.

Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?
I love a lot of international musicals. One that comes to my mind is MY FAIR LADY, where my friend & Opera singer Pranav Chadha acted.

Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer…
My favorites keep evolving. As of now, I’m a big fan of Mughal-e-Azam’s Musical Play and their set designs.

A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed…
Again, theater is about intimacy and physical proximity. When we evaluate production, we have to look at stuff like Broadway or Musicals. Zangoora the Gypsy Prince is something I enjoyed thoroughly.

Life in the theatre without the humble batata-wada or the cutting chai… or can you recall the best gastronomic experience you’ve had in the precincts of the theatre to date?
Nothing like the Suleimani Chai with stuffed paranthas at our very own Prithvi Cafe!
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