Healthy food, hearty laugh: Supper theatre in Bangalore

South Indian food at Maiya's

The brainchild of Hubli-based theatre troupe Guru Samste, Bangaloreans will be entertained with some of the most hilarious Kannada plays along with the best of south Indian cuisines under one roof.

Guru Samste has joined hands with popular city-based southto come up with Bangalore's very own supper theatre christened "Maiya's Rangavali".

"A series of four plays - 'All the Best', 'Rashi Chakra', 'Sahi-Re-Sahi' and 'Oh Lovve Jeevana Sakshatkara' - all in the comic genre, will be part of the theatre festival," Gururaj, coordinator of the festival and member of Guru Samste said.

"Modelled on the concept of supper theatre, we'll try to popularise theatre with the help of fine cuisine every weekend in Bangalore. At the end of a play, Maiya's Restaurant will serve dinner to the audience. The price of each ticket is Rs.100, which includes the cost of both play and food," added Gururaj, who only writes his first name.

The popular play, "All the Best", will open the festival on Aug 1 and 2.

"This will be the 600 and 601st shows of the play. The play, since it was first staged in 1994, has been a huge hit among theatre lovers across Karnataka. The play is a story of three young carefree men, who're in love with the same girl," said Gururaj.

Asked what made the drama troupe bring supper theatre to India's IT hub,
Yeshwant Sirdeshpande, theatre director and founder of Guru Samste, said theatre as a medium of art and entertainment was of late waning in the city.

"Thus we came up with the idea of serving the finest food at the end of each play. But it does not mean that we are in any way trying to trivialise the great art form of theatre," said the director.

"Once theatre was the primary medium of entertainment and learning, but with modernisation, theatre has taken a backseat. Hopefully our effort will also ensure a sustained income for the artists at a time when many theatre groups are struggling. We are promoting the concept of healthy food and a hearty laugh," Sirdeshpande added.
P. Sadanand Maiya, the man behind the restaurant, said the eatery would be proud to be part of a noble and entertaining effort.

"The menu will be elaborate and audience will love to eat them. We will be serving the finest of south Indian food, including spicy rice dishes, vegetable curries and sambar," smiled Sadanand.

Padma Lakshmi, a bank executive, said: "I am a theatre buff and a foodie at the same time. I am sure going to have a gala time at the festival. Moreover, the entire concept is unique and I am sure Bangaloreans will enjoy it."

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