Theatre Speaks

Pathy Aiyar
Actor, Voice Artiste, Writer, Filmmaker
[English Theatre ]

Which is the last good play you saw and why?
STORIES IN A SONG... Loved the energy, craft, acting and script.

Your favourite adda to see a play...
Any space as long as it is reasonably sound proofed. Even a living room can work. More theatre the better.

Your favourite playwright...
Peter Shaffer

Your favourite play-character...
Bhagat Singh and Andy from Neil Simon's STAR SPANGLED GIRL

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?
STORIES IN A SONG. Will make a good musical and be fun.

A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?
WHITE TIGER. Important to balance decay and corruption, through art at least.

The most hilarious play you have seen...

A play, which is over-hyped...
Can't think of any.

An important play (but ignored):
Can't think of any.

A play character you would like to "dialogue" with...
Romeo. Would like to ask him if love is really worth dying for ? What about the rest of your life etc, etc.....

A passage from an important play that you can recite...
OF GOD & COUNTRY my solo on Bhagat Singh.

A classical play that you should have read...
A couple of Greek tragedies.

A play that changed your perception about the theatre....

How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?
Active and exciting, but could address more serious contemporary urban issues. The pitiable state of migrant workers in particular. Urbanites use them for domestic chores, but they live in squalor.

Have you read any interesting books/articles concerning the theatre? Why did you find them interesting?
Sir Lawrence Oliver, 'On Acting'. His approach to characters was enlightening and his emphasis on fitness inspiring.

If you have ever been a part of a theatre production/s, can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous?
Tears flowed down a woman's face during my solo on Bhagat Singh, when I talked about the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh. She was a few feet away. The sheer power of theatre to move...

Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?
Tim Supple's PRODUCTION OF MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The fact that the characters spoke their native languages and we could still understand the play was mind blowing. An exchange in Malayalam and English was remarkable.

Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer...
Quite a few favourite directors. Ashish Sen, Mahesh Dattani, Prakash Belawadi, Arundhati Raja, Shivani Tibrewalla among others.

A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed.....

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?
Travelling with ART, a theatre group in Bangalore, we feasted on a lot of egg sandwiches - en route, backstage....Favourite food memory. And a cutting chai rules always....
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