Home Chennai New play, Odyssey, explores plots and spaces

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Why Bangalore-based Siddhanth Sundara��s genre-defying play, Odyssey, is an experiment waiting to happen

For director-actor Siddhanth Sundar, life would be meaningless without theatre. Though he has worked in the Bangalore circuit for over nine years, Sundar swears by his three-month theatre training under Koumarane Valavane from Indianostrum Theatre, Pondicherry, last August.A� a�?The training taught me that theatre is all about giving and not taking. Why should one make a play, keeping in mind how the audience will react to it? It is about exploring what you want to give,a�? he says. With his latest, Odyssey, all set to premiere in Pondicherry next weekend, the director hopes to take the audience through a journey and make them understand the meaning of a�?spacea��.

Without a tag
Produced by Sundara��s Lights Off Productions, the director calls his play, a�?genrelessa�?. Simply put, it is a�?an exploration of spacea��a�� on stage. Odyssey will feature nine Bangalore-based actors, many of them newcomers, and has nothing to do with Homera��s epic. a�?a�?The story also brings a connection between mother, time and space; it starts off with the big bang theory and where we are today. You will get angry, laugh, cry and find satire in this play,a�? promises the 29-year-old, who is being offered different performance spaces in Bangalore for the rehearsal. a�?Alliance Francaise Bangalore, Attakalari and other organisations have offered their theatre space so we can practice. This is because my play has to do a lot with a�?spacea�� and by a�?spacea�� I mean what is inside you,a�? he explains.

IMG_20140713_221126The drama of life
For Sundar it is the drama around him that inspires him to be a part of theatre. a�?There is so much drama at home and outside. However, my first inspiration was this Marwadi play at Ranga Shankara, which was about a village based girl and the problems she faces, there.a�? With over six plays to his credit, Sundar still feels like this is his first. a�?My previous plays have dealt with serious subjects like sexual harassment, serious human rights issues, etc. I have even done a fairy tale but this feels different,a�? he shares.

No to comedy
Observing the state of theatre in the country, Sundar says, a�?More people want to express themselves todaya�� be it a theatre artiste, radio jockey, a dancer or singer. To me it feels like the Mexican revolution which gave rise to a sea of artists in Spain. People go by the theory, a�?doesna��t matter if this doesna��t work. Leta��s try something morea��.a�? Though Sundar likes making fun plays, he does not understand why it is all about comedy. a�?Everyone just wants to laugh. Theatre is all about comedy these days. I wish wea��d get out of that mode,a�? he concludes.

At Indianostrum Theatre, from July 25 to 27. Tickets at Rs. 200. Details: 0413 2341475

a��Mrinalini Sundar

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