Monday, Dec 05, 2022
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theatre

Cross-Pollination

English theatre's finally found a voice in India, thanks to play readings, original scripts and crossover performers

Cross-Pollination
Cross-Pollination
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

That's not all. There's no songs, no titillation and no cellphone is allowed to ring. But Delhi's decidedly different audience succumbs to Mahesh Dattani's sensitive and supple scripting of a topic as troubled as incest and cries for the rape of innocence. Darshan Jariwala, who plays a groping, obscene uncle from hell, becomes a larger-than-life hate figure and the applause at the end is reluctant, in reverse appreciation for his beautifully ugly performance.

The popular success of this serious and non-"entertaining" play about minor rape and non-consensual sex, which couldn't have run even half as long as the "30 days" of its title five years ago, shows that English theatre in India has finally found a voice of its own. Says Alyque Padamsee, veteran director and adman: "We are at our most creative now with our own language. With directors breaking the shackles of tradition and producing bold new plays, we are at the brink of a renaissance."

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