A look at Naseeruddin Shah’s doppelgänger and why you must clear your schedule next weekend
There’s not much we can say about Nasseruddin Shah that isn’t already known. An actor hailed for ‘nailing’ his roles, he doesn’t believe in method acting and though he’s tackled some heavy subjects, he likes staging plays for children (“they don’t look for deeper meanings, they just enjoy it”). Besides a possible stint on TV—hosting a show on cricket—and learning Marathi from his wife, Ratna Pathak, Shah is also touring with his play, Einstein. Some things you need to know before you get your ticket:
The script, by Canadian playwright Gabriel Emanuel, was presented to Shah over 10 years ago. It was idling in a drawer until last year, when he needed to come up with a production for the Prithvi Theatre Festival. With just under two months to prepare, a solo show seemed perfect and looking like Einstein, a plus. “I do get mistaken for a Jew when I have a beard,” he recently told a national newspaper.
His two main challenges were to understand the physics and perfect the German accent. “My friend Atul Gurtu, a particle physicist, explained the basics of the theory of relativity and quantum theory,” revealed Shah after premiering the play in Mumbai.
Shah has used elaborate sets—including over 200 books—because he feels with “Einstein’s level of intelligence, he must have been reading all the time”. Rs 700-Rs 1,500. On June 14, at the Music Academy, at 7 pm. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
—Surya Praphulla Kumar