Theatre Speaks

Darrshan Jariwalla
Actor, Director
[Gujarati, Hindi, English Theatre ]
1. Which is the last best play you saw and why?
JAMBHOL AKHYAAN. It can be best described as pure and total theatre. The actors were incredible. The teamwork was magical.

2. Your favorite adda to see a play…
Prithvi in Mumbai.

3. Your favourite playwright…
Harold Pinter and Naushil Mehta.

4. Your favourite play-character…

5. A play you would like to see filmed. Why?
KUMAR NI AGASHI (Gujarati) by Madhu Rye.His wry humour and tragic sense of irony can be delightful material for a director to interpret.

6. A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?
‘Chronicle of a death foretold.’ Because I would like to write it for the stage and direct it.

7. The most hilarious play you have seen…
MAHARATHI by Paresh Rawal.

8. A play, which is over-hyped…
Unfortunately, I have an intuition about them and I don’t see them. So cannot comment.

9. An important play (but ignored):
SHRUNGAR KAND, a Gujarati adaptation of the cult film, ‘Last Tango In Paris’. It has been directed by Naushil Mehta.

10. A classical play that you should have read…

11. A play that changed your perception about the theatre…
TOKHAR, the Gujarati adaptation of EQUUS, directed by the late Mahendra Joshi.

12. How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?
With unabashed curiosity.

13. Have you read any interesting books/articles concerning the theatre? Why did you find them interesting?
"Natya Yog", the thesis by Dr. Jayanti Patel. His take on both, Yog and Theatre is amazing

14. If you have ever been a part of a theatre production/s, can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous?
In 1977, I was an understudy on stage for a tour of a Marathi Play, starring Nilubhau Phule. We were performing at Bal Gandharva Rangmandir, where one has to walk a long path from the green room to the entry. Nilubhau would sit cracking jokes with us juniors during the performance, but at a certain point of time would get up, start walking and without a break in his stride make his entry- Bang!- right on cue! Amazing focus!

15. Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?
I saw ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Rosencrantz And Guilderstern Are Dead’ back to back. Wow. The same actor Stephen Chase as Hamlet in both the plays, but the subtle differences he brought to the two were remarkable.

16. Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer…
Favourite director- Feroz Khan, Actor- Paresh Rawal, Music Designer- Rajat Dholakia and Set Designer, the late Vijay Kapadia.

17. A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed…
TINER TALWAR by Utpal Dutt.

18. Life in the theatre without the humble batata-wada or the cutting chai or if you please brownies that are snuggling chocolate bits… or can you recall the best gastronomic experience you’ve had in the precincts of the theatre to date?
"I love work because it puts sex into perspective” says Al Pachino. Well, I love theatre because it puts food into perspective! But I think Sunday evening Batata Wada and plain chutney sandwiches at Tejpal auditorium are one of my favourite memories.
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