Joy of pure theatre

The two plays promise the discerning theatre goer delightful stories and powerful performances. “There are no good or bad audiences only good or bad performances,” said Naseeruddin as he talked about the joy of pure theatre and thrill of connecting with the audience on a very personal level.

Known for its powerful and rivetting performances with minimal props, sets and costumes, Motley as a group, has  produced several short and full-length English plays and has for the last eight years been performing in Hindustani as well.

From being an itinerant troupe of two, Motley (later including Tom Alter, Ratna Pathak, Kenny Desai and Akash Khurana), now has a pretty large membership. The group has regularly toured the country, and has even taken their work to foreign shores.

This time the group will be staging Katha Collage —  three classic tales Bade Bhai Saheb (Elder Brother), and  Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) by Premchand Munshi and Sankraman (The Circle of Life) by Kamtanath.

“We have performed work by most great playwrights in the Western world but have been looking for good theatrical writing in our native language, Hindustani.

Finding the works of Ismat Chugtai was like discovering a real treasure,” he emphasised. The second day has three stories from Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai in Ismat Apa Ke Naam – II which is completely different from Ismat Apa Ka Naam which was staged earlier. “I wanted to cash in on the popularity of the first set but it sort of backfired as many people thought they had already seen it. This is a new and completely different set of stories,” he says.

The cast includes Imaad Shah, Jameel Khan, Om, Manoj Pahwa, Naseeruddin Shah and Seema Pahwa.

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