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Atul Kumar’s experimental piece Khwaab Sa debuts in the city

That renowned artiste Atul Kumar entered the field of theatre by accident is an incredible fact. Especially given his string of successful productions, namely, Trivial Disasters (starring Kalki Koechlin), Piya Behrupiya and Noises Off amongst a host of others. This weekend, Atul and his Mumbai-based troupe, The Company Theatre, bring to the city their reinterpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream titled Khwaab Sa. Shakespeare is a playwright he seems to keep returning to and Atul explains that the legend’s work isn’t necessarily challenging to work with or understand. “The more you stop being afraid, the more accessible it becomes,” says the director.

Originally commissioned by KHAM Theatre, Taipei, the production makes its debut in India with the Bengaluru show. In keeping with his repertoire of experimental theatre, this play too seeks to push the envelope. The narrative weaves in elements of song and dance, for a truly immersive experience. “We have live Carnatic and Western music, and contemporary dance choreographed and performed by noted dancer, Diya Naidu, while the dialogues are in Hindi gibberish,” reveals Atul, adding that the play, which deals with fairies, lovers and a band of substandard actors, is fun and lighthearted. Apart from Naidu, it also stars Sahiba Singh, Kumar Priyabrata Panigrahi, Shikhar Martolia,  Prashant More, Ronita Mookerji and others.

Talking about the challenges he faced with Khwaab Sa, Atul shares that making the choreographed pieces, vocal performances and scenes featuring the spoken word come together seamlessly was not as easy task. “But I think we’ve managed to pull it off,” he says, without revealing much more, and adds that the show touches upon themes such as love, fantasy, loneliness and sex. The lighting, done by Pritham Kumar is said to add to the dream-like vibe that the director is going for. “The lighting gives the scenes texture and rhythm, which is very important to this play,” states Atul.

Following its outing in Bengaluru, the show will travel to Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. As for Atul, he has already started working on a project titled 7 Jewish Children which traces the history of the movement of Jews, right from the Holocaust to the controversy surrounding the Gaza strip.
January 14 and15.

At ADA Ranga Mandira, JC Road. Tickets (`300 upwards) on bookmyshow.com

— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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