Theatre Speaks

Preeta Mathur
Actor, Producer
[Hindi Theatre ]

Which is the last good play you saw and why?

Naseer Bhai's FATHER because of my favourite actors and the format and Faezeh Jalali's SHIKHANDI because of its energy and irreverence.

Your favourite adda to see a play...


Your favourite playwright...

Vijay Tendulkar and now Ashok Mishra

Your favourite play-character...

ANJI and still one to come...

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?

HAMESHA (Javed Siddiqi) - the changes in looks and personalities of the actors with passing of the years will be so much more authentic.

A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?

Kiran Nagarkar's CUCKOLD because it would be irreverent and blow some myths and a story that needs to be told

The most hilarious play you have seen...

NOISES OFF- fast action, very well done

A play, which is over-hyped...


An important play (but ignored):


A play character you would like to "dialogue" with...

Kaikeye (Ramayan - Ram's stepmother). Also Krishna in the Mahabharat

A passage from an important play that you can recite...


A classical play that you should have read...


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

Rudraprasad Sengupta's production of THE SALESMAN and Bansi Kaul's productions

How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?

Very Vibrant

Have you read any interesting books/articles concerning the theatre? Why did you find them interesting?

THE MAGIC OF THEATRE - BEHIND THE SCENES WITH TODAY'S LEADING ACTORS by David Black, Most relatable - I felt those guys were just voicing my thoughts. It inspired me to begin penning my experiences

If you have ever been a part of a theatre production/s, can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous?

Lots of events but the most significant was when Dineshji was in hospital and we were performing two shows of HAI MERA DIL at Prithvi. In the middle of the first half of the first show I had gone up to change and the phone rang (in the make-up room) - it was the hospital informing me that Dineshji was being rushed to the ICU. I don't know how I got back on stage. My first instinct was to rush to the hospital - the audience was in splits and I was in a stupor -only knew that the show had to go on. At interval point the team rallied around - we knew that cancelling a show would hurt Dineshji more than any disease - soon as the shows were done I rushed to the ICU with my make-up on and the first thing Dineshji wanted to know - how did the shows go? How many in the audience?

Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?

A production of HAMLET which had come to the Prithvi festival many years ago. A surreal scene between Hamlet and his mother is etched in my memory. With limited props and music they were able to create such eeriness.

Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer...

DINESH THAKUR -he was all of those Director, Actor, Music and Set Designer and opened a new world for me

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

Naseer Bhai's FATHER

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?

It really has been the batata-wada at Dinanath (best in town really)- the pleasure of the well cooked and seasoned potatoes and the perfect thickness of the besan covering. The memory of the aroma is enough to make me salivate.I am sure it has contributed in ironing out many a faulty second half at Dinanath! Also the after-festival satisfying Irish Coffee at Prithvi - slowly sipping luxury you can allow yourself after shows well done!
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