City theatre group proves to be 'Yours Truly' in Europe

Going global

City theatre group proves  to be 'Yours Truly' in Europe

Bangaloreans surely love a bit of drama in their lives. You could spot this on the streets, in public spaces and of course on the stage, brought to life by a motley mix of theatre groups, interactive and traditional, Kannada and English, silent and multilingual.

Now, this raw, dramatic energy has been noticed globally. For proof, check out the ‘Yours Truly’ group, fresh from a 40-day tour of Europe, perhaps the first from the City to undertake one.

The group’s hyperactive tour had them perform to niche audiences at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe theatre festival in Scotland and the European theatre festival in Plymoth, UK.

The trio of Ranji David, Nandini Rao and Sumit Acharya also had performances in London, Paris, Berlin, Zurich, Milan and The Hague.

Eliciting rave reviews, the group had invitations to conduct theatre workshops on their work in India and collaborative performance projects with international cast and crew across the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

At the Edinburgh fest, renowned as one of the world’s largest, ‘Yours Truly’ turned out to be the only one to represent contemporary Indian ethos. It staged its musical interactive production ‘Bhagwaan Dhoondo’ to turn on the spotlight. “The contemporary theme, aesthetics, execution and interaction made their mark at this festival,” recalled Maureen Roberston, a member of the largely Scottish audience.

“People in the UK are very well aware and connected to India and they relate to the Indian art and culture in a strong way. However, many expressed that they have been exposed to Indian classical dance and music and it was heartening for them to see contemporary Indian theatre.

“Both our plays, ‘Bhagwaan Dhoondo’ and ‘Common Man Ver2.0’ have a strong Indian context. However, they connected with the international audience as the theme of search and struggles of a common man is universal”  recalls Nanindi Rao, YT’s artistic director.

For the play  ‘Common Man Ver2.0,’ the group had an Indian and a British actor on stage playing the common man. The audience loved the interplay of culture, ideas, languages, expressions and of course, acting.

“Most in the audience talk about their connections with India which is either Indian food, philosophy or movies. More such collaborative projects will help the world know that Indian theatre has more to offer,” says Ranji David, the group’s founder and co-artistic director.

The tour also helped the group take note of the huge facilities available for theatre rehearsals, research and innovations in Europe, a far cry from India.

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