On average we see a play once a week or so. The typical venues in Mumbai are NCPA, Prithvi Theatre, sometime one of the college theatres like Sophia or St Andrews.
However there are alternate venues too. We’ve seen theatre performed in someone’s living room or in the middle of a field at The Company Theatre in Kamshet.
Last weekend, we were introduced to another venue – Sitara Studio in Dadar West – compliments of Eric Kaiser’s play “Charge“. The venue has this industrial warehouse feel perfect for a post apocalyptic play about a bed-ridden couple Martha and George who are obsessed with betting or chasing the illusion of reality with their whims and bodily needs catered to by their androids Gigi and Pierre.
While the play and performances were interesting, the set and environment were exceptional (and no – my photos do not do justice in the least!).
It was a packed show with rows of plastic chairs behind and mattresses for floor seating in front with the actors practically stumbling over the audience! Yet the environment fostered a shared experience as memorable as the play itself.
Clearly there is both an appetite for such theatre and support for alternate venues. Intrepid theatrical goers will navigate narrow alleys with zero parking (thank you valet services!!).
It remains my contention that a vibrant city like Mumbai needs more affordable performance venues in various parts of the city. The talent is there. The audience is there. However the venues are limited. Available dates are scarce and it is near impossible to get a theatrical ‘run’ so necessary to help mitigate production costs.
So bravo to any who seek to increase options and the audiences for supporting too!
I read today about a plays at a prison in Berlin – I HAVE to go!
Now THAT is one seriously different venue! This is just an old mill district warehouse that is being transformed into a creative space. Been done in many parts of the world before, just nice to see happening in Bombay too. 🙂 And has cheap cutting chai around the corner where workers and artists co-mingle.
* without ‘a’ – I’m turning Latvian belatedly 😉