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Funny yet deep, Akvarious’ new play comes to town 

Love, Bombs & Apples is the second collaboration between Mumbai-based theatre director Akarsh Khurana, and Iraqi playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak, after their award-winning play, Baghdad Wedding. Staged in 2011, the latter revolved around three expat Iraqis who return to their country after the collapse of Saddam Hussein. “We were not sure if Baghdad Wedding would resonate with the Indian audience, but it did. People connected with our story. So we were certain Love, Bombs, & Apples will work as well,” Khurana tells us about the play, which premiered in Mumbai last December, and will open in the city tonight.
The one-hour play weaves in stories of three Muslim men in the post 9/11 world. Khurana, who runs Akvarious Productions, breaks it down for us. “‘Apples’ is about an unemployed youth, staying in Bradford, and his take on terrorism. ‘Love’ revolves around a Palestinian actor’s night with a British girl, and it reflects the reality of Palestine. In ‘Bombs’, a London-based Pakistani writer’s first novel generates undue interest, because he is a Muslim.”But Khurana, famous for plays such as Afsaneh: Bai se Bioscope Tak, and Blackbird, is quick to add, “All the stories have been dealt in a funny manner. I don’t believe in doing theatre that is very preachy. But I am sure the play will get you thinking about the problems faced by Muslims around the world.”
Abdulrazzak’s original script had one more story— Landing Strip — which Khurana decided to drop. “It depicts what’s happening in the Gaza Strip. It’s an intense piece, and will require a fair amount of knowledge about the tension going on in Gaza to truly understand it,” explains the theatre personality, who has also dabbled in screenwriting for Hindi films like Krrish, Kites, and U Me Aur Hum.
This year, Khurana has been busy with his new shows, Love, Bombs & Apples, and Colaba Casanova, and the third part of his hugely famous children’s play, A Special Bond. So the 36-year-old next plans to take a breather.
April 29-May 1. Details: jagrititheatre.com
— Barkha Kumari


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