Theatre Speaks

Vipul Mahagaonkar
Director, Playwright
[Marathi Theatre ]

Which is the last good play you saw and why?
'SANGEET DEV BHABALI' - one of the finest Marathi plays that I have ever seen.

'DADA EK GOODNEWS AAHE' (Marathi play). I saw it because it was written by my friend. I found it one of the best plays of 2019.

Your favourite adda to see a play...
Now my adda is Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Kala Kendra's Geeta Bhavan where we read stories, recite poems and stage plays on two Saturdays and two Sundays of each month.

Your favourite playwright...
Mahesh Elkunchwar & Noel Coward.

Your favourite play-character...
Sakharam Binder.

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?
'WADA CHIREBANDI' by Mahesh Elkunchwar. According to me there are lots of visuals to the play which can be explored effectively once adapted for films.

A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?
'Yatha Kashthamch Kashthamch' by Mahesh Elkunchwar. It takes us to the corners of life which we may or may not want to revisit. It satisfies you and simultaneously makes you uncomfortable.

The most hilarious play you have seen...
'LOOSE CONTROL' by Nipun Dharmadhikari

A play, which is over-hyped...
Almost every big production. And some plays with famous actors and awful scripts.

An important play (but ignored):

A play character you would like to "dialogue" with...
I would like to listen to a dialogue between Nathuram Godse and Sakharam Binder.

A passage from an important play that you can recite...
A monologue from a classic Marathi play 'UDHWASTHA DHARMASHALA' written by Govind Purushottam Deshpande.

A classical play that you should have read...
'WAITING FOR GODOT' by Samuel Beckett.

A play that changed your perception about the theatre....
Ratan Thiyam's 'MACBETH'

How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?
Commercial more than Professional.

Have you read any interesting books/articles concerning the theatre?
Why did you find them interesting?
World Drama - From Aeschylus to the Present Day by Allardyce Nicoll--a skillfully treated book with limitless subjects that provide a general conspectus of drama's development from its earliest days in ancient Greece down to latest times.

If you have ever been a part of a theatre production/s, can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous?
When the opening show of my first experimental play 'PAI PAISHACHI GOSHT' happened at Kala Ghoda festival no one knew what would happen. We didn't have any grand rehearsal and except for one or two team members no one else saw the play in rehearsal stage. We directly went for the show. The house was full. Gradually as the play progressed it started engaging the audience. At the end we were in tears. First time in my life I had experienced such a magical moment of creation. I can still relive it.

Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?
Yes, its 'Million Dollar Quartet'. It was truly remarkable. First time I was experiencing rock n roll music with almost a full house.

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

Director:- Ratan Thiyam
Actor:- Sushama Deshpande, Ila Bhate,
Set Designer:- Amar Gaikwad.

A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed.....
I would again mention Ratan Thiyam's MACBETH & SANGEET DEVA BABHALI

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?

Whenever l visit Dinanath, Shivaji Mandir and Yashwant Matunga, l always have those mouth watering garam garam batata wada and kanda bhaji at Gadkari. The relationship between Natak and food is best observed in the intervals of Marathi plays and I love to overhear the expert comments from the audience.
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