Theatre Speaks

Tavish (Actor)
[English Theatre ]
Which is the last best play you saw?

I really enjoyed watching Faezeh Jalali's - SHIKHANDI! I think it was smartly written, well executed, made you laugh and most importantly - made you think!
Your favourite 'adda' to see a play

Prithvi Theatre for sure! I spent a lot of time at Ranga Shankara in Bangalore before I moved here and Prithvi has that same sense of quiet warmth and openness.

Your favourite playwright

Harold Pinter, Melissa James Gibson... But then I enjoy the silliness of Neil Simon and Dario Fo too!

Your favourite play-character

Does this refer to a character I've played? In which case - Aston from THE CARETAKER. When I played the part in 2009, it was one of the most intense roles I'd played!

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?

Any play which allows the actors to "play" with subtle changes in expression would work well! I think RUBY MOON and VICTORIA STATION would be fun to do on film.

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

I read this skeleton of a story somewhere online once - where a man trapped in hell is helped back on his feet by the seven sins. I think that idea has so much potential!

The most hilarious play you have seen

WANAWAKE WA HERI WA WINSA - a Swahili adaptation of Shakespeare's MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. I watched it in Bangalore during the Shakespeare Festival in 2012 and it was absolutely hilarious!!

A passage from an important play that you can recite

The opening lines of Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR. Don't judge me! I did it in school in Class 9 and it's just stuck with me!!

A classical play that you should have read


A play that changed your perception about the theatre

I don't think there's been one single production. All the plays I've watched (both good and bad) and have been a part of have helped shape my "perception about the theatre." I think my perception is something that keeps changing as I learn new things along the way.

How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?

I think theatre in Mumbai is at an interesting point! I think the audience here is smart and demands strong stories and performances. They don't need to be spoon fed or for scripts to be simplified. It's our job as artists to choose to tell the stories that need to be told, and to portray them in a way that makes the audience think and question the performance, the story, and, if we're lucky, question themselves! When intelligent theatre creators are paired with a smart audience - it's a recipe for success!

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

I read An Actor Prepares (yeah.. cliché!) and a bunch of other books on acting. They are all interesting but I've always found I've learnt more by being a part of the cast or crew on a production.

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

Oh man! There are so many theatre memories over the last 10 years! Some happy, some sad, some just strange! No way I can boil it down to one!

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

Harold Pinter's NO MAN'S LAND starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian Mckellan. I watched the screening at NCPA and watching those two power houses of talent doing what they do was nothing short of magical!

Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer

Our director Glenn Hayden! It's been an absolute pleasure working with him and I've learnt a lot from him working on this production.

A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed

I've seen The Company Theatre's PIYA BEHRUPIYA over 6 times now. I think it's a great example of a well adapted script and what an adaptation should strive to be. I remember the first time I saw the play at Rangashankara in Bangalore. It completely blew me away!

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?

For me theatre and chai are inseparable!! Whether it's before the show, during a break or soon after a show's done... Sometimes even while a show is going on! Whether I'm acting or watching a performance... Anytime is chai time!!
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