The stage is set for the fifth edition of the city’s Short + Sweet theatre festival—with 47 plays of 10-minute duration each, spread over three weeks. The popular festival has seen its share of known faces —Tamil film actors Ashok Selvan, Amzath Khan and Venkatesh Harinathan, to name a few. Here we track down those who have been featured on the big screen, but have returned to the stage where it all began.
Iraivi actress Pooja Devariya, who is directing First Day First Show for the festival, is currently cast in six feature films. Also acting in Stray Factory’s Chennai Pattinam 2065, she tells us, “It was sheer accident that (director) Manikandan had come for the finals at Short + Sweet two years ago. ” After seeing her performance, he approached her with a script and that’s how the theatre actor-director landed the feature, Kuttrame Thandanai, which is set to release soon.
For 31-year-old Kalieaswari Srinivasan, whose film Dheepan was awarded the Golden Palm at Cannes last year, the festival is a huge platform for actors, directors and playwrights to “go ahead and showcase their work” without having to worry about costs, like renting an auditorium. Srinivasan will be acting in two plays this time, Never Give-up and Nee.
For Sainath Saikrishnan, Short +Sweet happened by chance when a friend suggested he try it. He went on to win the best actor for his performance in Waiting For Him in the last edition of the festival. “It was a very good boost and it put a lot of things into perspective,” says the 26-year-old who has acted in films such as Manithan and Aazhi (which is yet to be released). This year, he will be acting in First Day First Show and another play about the “Tinder using generation” where he will be portraying six different characters.
? Yours Urgently, directed by Rajiv Rajaram, is easily one of the most anticipated plays this year. A regular at the festival, Rajaram won best director, play and script writer awards in the last edition, for the play Typist with Destiny. July 21-24.
? One of the world’s most well-known 10-minute playwrights, Alex Broun’s War Kiss will be showcased at the festival. The play, directed by Karthik Anantharaman, centres around a love story set in a war-hit Middle East. July 21-24.
? Lalitha Dharini, daughter of renowned Tamil playwright Komal Swaminathan and a well-known name in the city’s theatre circuit, will be showcasing her play, Manidha Uruvagul. It will be her debut at Short + Sweet. July 6,8, 9 and 10.
? Don’t miss Goon, written by one of Sydney’s best new generation playwrights, Pete Malicki. Set in a world of super heroes and villains, it relates the struggles of two ordinary goons on a mission to take over the world.
July 13, 15, 16 and 17.
All shows begin at 7 pm.
July 6-31, at Alliance Française. Details: eventjini.com