Shedding light on theatre

By Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Updated: Sep 05, 2018, 09:22 IST

A new play focuses on a gamut of human emotions, not just love

The cast rehearses for Blind Date

The first time that Jay Soni, Cheshta Bhagat and Pritam Singh — the three protagonists of a new play called Blind Date — experienced lights blacking out on stage during rehearsals, they felt completely lost. “Sir, kya karu, kuchh dikhai nahi de raha hai!” they shouted out to director Prasad Khandekar, since being in total darkness while acting was alien territory for the three TV actors, who are making their theatre debut.

But little did the trio know that it was Khandekar himself who'd asked for all the lights to be suddenly switched off. The reason is simple — the director was throwing them in the deep end to figure out how different the stage is from acting on TV shows. There are intervals between scenes, for example, when you're robbed of your vision. You also have to project your voice to the last person in the audience, sans the help of sound amplifiers. “And you don't have the luxury of retakes, all of which makes theatre a different beast from television,” Khandekar reveals.

Prasad Khandekar

But he adds that to their credit, Soni, Bhagat and Singh more or less acclimatised themselves to acting on stage within half-an-hour of the lights being first blacked out. And the trio is now ready with the rest of the cast to unveil the play this weekend at a Bandra venue. It revolves around the character of Dhara, a girl who meets with an accident that changes the course of her life. Her romantic interests are divided between two men, Nisarg and Pawan, though Khandekar insists that the plot doesn't involve a love triangle.

Instead, it encompasses a whole gamut of human emotions. These include the relationship between two friends, a father and daughter, and an uncle and niece, whose stories are told through a humorous lens. “You'll start crying while laughing at one point, and laughing while crying at another,” Khandekar says, which makes it sound like a Bollywood plot line, we tell him. “It's not quite that,” he answers, adding, “The narrative tools used for theatre are different from that of stories for the screen, big or small.”

On September 7, 8 pm and September 9, 7 pm
At Rangsharda Auditorium, Bandra West (September 7); Tata Theatre, NCPA (September 9).
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Cost Rs 500 onwards

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