For the love of Theatre

World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated on March 27. It was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute. Let’s look at some of the brilliant plays you can catch this month in Bengaluru.

Riding Madly Off In All Directions
Riding Madly Off in All Directions stages Stephen Leacock’s humorously satirical work with the verve of a Motley production! The play is a continuation of Motley’s attempt to bring literature on stage. A medley of Leacock’s ruminations, it brings together stories that have absolutely no connection with each other, with the exception of Leacock’s absurdist imagination in action. Stephen P H Butler Leacock was a Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between the years 1910 and 1925, he was the most widely read English-speaking author in the world, known for his light humor and keen reflections on people and their foibles. The entire Shah family will be in action as they explore the many inflections of humour from worlds that are empathetic, dystopic and everything in between! The play features Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Patkak Shah, Heeba Shah, Imaad Shah and Vivaan Shah.

Where: Chowdiah Memorial Hall

When: March 30, 7.30 pm

Saarthak presents “Thanda Gosht and Other Stories”

Saadat Manto’s most controversial play about the partition, titled “Thanda Gosht” (“Cold Meat”), is a bold, hard hitting piece about the horrors of human darkness: Ishwar Singh, a Sikh recently returned from a round of partition killing, can’t bring himself to make love to his mistress. The mistress suspects him of infidelity—why else can’t he get it up? “Thanda Gosht” was published in a literary magazine in March 1950, and the magazine was immediately banned. “Sexual obscenity is the basic theme of this story which focuses on and is obsessed with a sexually explicit encounter between a man and a woman. I am satisfied after carefully reading the story that it offends the morality of the reader and the same goes against the settled moral standards of our society… In view of the above, I hold Saadat Hassan Manto guilty of circulating an obscene piece of writing and sentence him to three months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rupees 300 under section 292 of the Indian Penal Code [IPC].” Thus wrote A. M. Saeed, Magistrate First Class, Lahore, in his verdict at the end of the criminal trial of Manto and a group of others for having circulated “obscene” material in the form of a short story titled Thanda Gosht. Manto was finally acquitted by the court of sessions in Lahore. These stories are about us, about who we are, and who we cannot hide from.

Where: Rangashankara

When: March 28 and 29, 7.30 pm

THT Theatre + QTP present “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit”

Will you participate? Will you be manipulated? Will you listen? Will you really listen? With no rehearsal, no director, a different actor each night, and a script waiting in a sealed envelope on stage, internationally acclaimed White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, is an audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theatre. Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Soleimanpour wrote a play which travelled the world in his place. The audience joins each different performer on a journey into the unknown; stumbling upon the personal and profound, the limits of liberty and ultimately where theatre can take you. Since its joint premiere in 2011, the play has been translated into 15 different languages and has been performed over 200 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film, including actors John Hurt, Simon McBurney, Stephen Rea, Sinead Cusack, Marcus Brigstocke and Ken Loach. It is written and produced by Nassim Soleimanpour and performed by Deepika Arwind

Where: The Humming Tree,  

When: March 29, 8 pm