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Theatre 2018

By January 2, 2019No Comments

Source : The Hindu

This year plays were staged every weekend, making it quite a task to choose which production to watch! It has also been tough to select productions that made a mark, a sign that theatre is booming every year in Bengaluru. MetroPlus does a quick recap of the year in theatre, which ranged from path-breaking festivals to many brilliant productions on the Bard.

Bangalore Little Theatre (BLT)

This year belonged to BLT. Their production Monsters in The Dark, an adaptation of Dr Siddharth Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A biography of cancer was staged twice this year.

Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2018

This year’s festival was decidedly unique from its previous festivals. The theme was Plays that almost weren’t. Banned or censored sterling productions such as Ahalya B.D, Animal FarmChandâla, impure, Mahish, and Rakshas were a few that were staged.

Yours Truly Theatre

This theatre group that believes in using theatre as a tool for social transformation celebrated their 15th year with Truly 15, a theatre festival. Theirs was a clear departure from regular theatre festivals. Truly 15 featured panel discussions on the contribution of theatre to different fields such as theatre for a cause, theatre for children, theatre in education, theatre in therapy, and theatre for corporates.

Jagriti Theatre

Sriram Iyer’s Societal Woes was among Jagriti’s best plays. The story was hilarious, relatable, and had some fine performances by senior citizens. The plot revolves around the lives of residents of an apartment block and highlights generation gaps. Poile Sengupta’s Alpha that tells the parallel stories of social activist and a politician in a small town saw a fine performance by Kavya Srinivasan.

Gender Bender 2018

The fourth edition of Gender Bender was held by Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Sandbox Collective, which featured discussions such as Learning the positions: love, sex and feminism, in which filmmaker and author Paromita Vohra spoke with Nisha Susan, editor of the Ladies Finger, about the relationship between feminism and sex, sex and love, and more. There was also a session on sports that had Ramachandra Guha speak to sports journalist Sharda Urga who made a mark in a predominantly male-dominated arena.

Sing and swing

Musicals held sway in the musical capital. St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School celebrated 160 years with the Broadway musical Billy Elliot. Based on Stephen Daldry’s 2000 film, the musical is set in Northern England during the coal miners’ strike of 1984-86. The story is of the 11-year-old son of a miner who stumbles into ballet class and discovers he has a talent for it. The energetically-produced musical boasting of a cast of 250 students was engaging and well-choreographed.

The innovative sets deserve mention. Leila Alvares chose The Addams Family for her annual musical. While the sets, costumes and choreography were up to scratch, the audio seemed out of sync with the goings-on and made for a disconcerting experience.

Just William

As long as there is theatre, Shakespeare will be on it in some form or other. Rajat Kapoor’s incisive adaptations of Macbeth (What is Done is Done) and Hamlet(The Clown Prince) star Kalki Koechlin, Vinay Pathak, Ranveer Shorey, and Jim Sarbh. What is Done is Done has Shorey play Macky B, a valiant general who turns greedy and ruthless while Pathak plays the lead in The Clown Prince.

Using clowns to construct and deconstruct Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies strikes at the heart of the story.

Malvolio, the vilely-abused steward in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night takes centre stage in Tim Crouch’s solo performance, I, Malvolio presented by British Council and QTP Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Malvolio’s rant is at once heart breaking and unsettling as he uncovers lies, half-truths and cold fact in a virtuoso performance.

The Hindu Theatre Fest

Three plays were staged this year, the psychological thriller, Double Deal Reloaded, directed by Mahesh Dattani and performed by AGP World; Detective 9-2-11, directed by Atul Kumar and performed by the Company Theatre; and Aurat! Aurat! Aurat! (Ismat Apa Ke Naam 3) directed by Naseeruddin Shah.

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