Director's cut -- KUNAAL ROY KAPUR
Q Theatre Productions seems to be focussing on creating theatre for the youth, with Thespo and sassy comedies such as “The President Is Coming.” Is this a conscious move to create new audiences, and a younger theatre culture?
Q Theatre Productions has tried to create a young audience in Mumbai and has succeeded to an extent, but it’s not as though the productions cater to them. The productions are as relevant to them as they are to any audience. We do need people to come into theatres and with QTP’s Thespo initiative and people looking at theatre as entertainment and not an art form, as it often claims to be, more people will come.
‘Theatre is entertainment’ is an important message to get across to people. Whether a play transcends into art is a decision audiences will make, not the people putting it up.
Mumbai theatre is probably best known for its Indian comedies in English. As a director, how you approach a classic Mumbai comedy such as “The President Is Coming”, and make it come across as fresh and different?
The Mumbai theatre scene has changed for the better in some ways. A lot of new writing is being performed and plays in Hindi, Urdu and Marathi are making social comments and providing good entertainment. The demands on Indian English theatre to make itself more relatable to our audiences has gone up. The writing in this play allowed me to keep the play as close to how we speak and behave. That’s what’s helped it the most.
The play is about a group of fiercely ambitious young people who will stop at nothing to win. It’s already proved immensely popular in Mumbai. Do you think this is because audiences recognise themselves in this play, designed to reflect these competitive times?
Absolutely. The play reflects in some way how competitive we are in our everyday lives, though it takes it to an extreme, and how we need to get ahead. It always helps if people can see where the characters are coming from.
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