Just last week, the city went into a tizzy with the news of the possible closure of Lamakaan, a much-loved and patronised cultural centre with an open air theatre, greenery and spirited ambience. Luckily, the news is that the show will go on. That reminded the city about the other spaces left which are great places to check out art and culture shows besides plays. So we decided to do a round up of these places to tell you where you should head to if music is what turns you on and which place to choose if you want to grab the best sandwiches while watching a play.
By Nishad Neelambaran
Our Sacred Space
Location: Sardar Patel Road, Secunderabad
Owned by a young dancer Nayantara Nandakumar, the place is designed to reflect the authentic Indian village culture and lifestyle. The welcome board with a handpainted lotus and swan painted hints that it is a place for nature lovers. From story-telling to dance workshops to painting classes that cuts across various forms like Pattachitra, Kalamkari to Kalighat, the place has much more to offer than just a stage, mic and lights.
USP: Every inch of the place is made of clay and has a roo top made of dried palm leaves. Nayantara takes her dance classes to people of different age groups everyday, making it the most happening cultural place. The performing arts personnels love to stage their plays here for it has one of the most beautiful style of construction, which adds to the plot of the play. The wooden chairs double the delight of the audience. Every Sunday, there is a flea market, where one can get best of hand-made goods and organic fruits and vegetables sold by the framers themselves.
Lights: The venue sticking to its simple ambience, has minimal lightings and provides with normal halogen lights which glows the whole space in the nights.
Acoustics: The arena has fucntional equipment like the basic amplifier and guitar pedals. The performers are allowed to get their own audio devices, if they prefer.
Food: There is no canteen or coffeeshop here. However, it’s proximity to a lot of little cafes around should make up for the lack of food options.
Tickets: The entry is free but for the performers may charge for their plays.
Location: Near State Assembly, Lakdikapul
T he 2,295 square yard cultural space named after Rabindranath Tagore is where the best government functions take place.
USP: It’s centrally-located and you can reach the venue in 45 minutes from anywhere in the city. The hall has ground level rows and balcony seats for the audience. The theatre can accommodate 1,050 guests. Besides this, the backstage of the auditorium is well built with spacious green rooms and a luxurious VIP room. Apart from this, the venue has parking for 250 cars.
Lights: The venue underwent a renovation after 44 years of its establishment and major changes were made on the lightings. The stage has foot lights, focus lights, yellow halogens and white spot lights. The lighting of the venue is controlled by the official who operates the Bullfrog lighting monitor that monitors more than 40 major lights.
Acoustics: The concert hall is equipped with Electro Voice audio systems which comprises two 800W bass bins, two 400W stage monitors, four 400W top monitors, two 300W centre tops and two 300W side speakers in the balcony.
Food: Besides the fried evening snacks, the south Indian meals for Rs 60 is totally worth it.
Tickets: Since the auditorium encourages art and culture shows, the tickets are moderately priced and most of the time, free.
Location: Off Road No. 1, Banjara Hills
This open cultural centre is a famous hangout spot in the city. The non-profit organisation hosts art exhibitions, literary, theatre, music concerts and debates. Lamakaan has been hosting events since its inception in March 2010. Founded by Ashhar Farhan, Humera Ahmed, Biju Mathew and Bollywood actress and producer, Elahe Hiptoola, the ambience at Lamakaan is what catches the eye.
USP: The two-storey building is built to ensure that every floor gets the best view of the stage. The rock on the dais is the rockstar of there, regardless of who performs. The superfast free wi-fi and an informal library attracts the 20-somethings to this place.
Lights: There are 16 focus lights for the stage and eight spot lights facing the audience. The roof top sit-out on the second floor adds to the charm.
Acoustics: Three Crage speakers and the Studiomaster 12-2 mixer and amplifier with wire and wireless microphones is what helps the performers keep the atmosphere lively.
Food: The place is also known for the food it serves in the canteen. The samosas (Rs 10 for two) and lemon juice (Rs 30) is what the crowd enjoys between the breaks. The omelettes and sweet lassi have their patrons too.
Tickets: There are a certain set of rules that Lamakaan has set which includes the pricing and accessibility of the events held at the venue. The tickets cannot be more than Rs 100 and should be open to all. The place accommodates 150 audience at a time.