August 8 -
Satyajit Ray’s short story, ‘Patol Babu, Film Star’ tells of a chance opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream. Patol Babu is 50, or so, and has led a decidedly unglamorous life. His one passion, acting, has never really amounted to much. One day, the possibility of a part in a film opens up. Despite it being a walk-on role of a pedestrian, Patol embraces the opportunity. The play extends this little story by constructing parallel narratives that set up and mirror Patol Babu — in younger versions of himself and people like him. All these stories of failed ambition culminate in his one single walk on opportunity.
‘Taramandal’ won The Metroplus Playwright Award 2010, which is awarded every year to the best unpublished play script in English. The playwright conducted several interviews with theatre actors, background artists, bit part-players in the Mumbai film industry, television personalities and casting agents. This research went into a six-week period of workshops and improvisations with the cast of ‘Taramandal’. The final play is stitched from these experiences. It is not a sad story, but one rife with melancholy and the absurd humours that follow that most irrepressible human trait — ambition.
The Tadpole Repertory is a collective of theatre practitioners in Delhi committed to producing original work. ‘Taramandal’ is Tadpole’s first independent production. In April, the group was awarded a prestigious anniversary grant from the Goethe Institut for a forthcoming theatre project titled ‘Ich bin Fassbinder’.
Taramandal (English / Hindi / Bengali)
The Tadpole Repertory (New Delhi)
Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall
Time: 7.15 p.m.
Directed by: Neel Chaudhuri
Playwright: Neel Chaudhuri
Language: English, with a little Hindi and Bengali
Duration: 110 minutes
Neel Chaudhuri says: My own reasons for being a writer are very clear; I do it so I can work with actors. This is perhaps most true of ‘Taramandal’, a play written with actors, and about people who want to be actors.
Andrew Hoffland, Neel Debdutt Paul, Mallika Taneja, Momo Ghosh, Tarun Sharma, Kriti Pant
Production Manager: Momo Ghosh
Production Design: Vaibhavi Kowshik
Original Music & Sound Design: Samar Grewal
Lighting: Rahul Rai
Stage Manager & Publicity Design: Sunando Chakraborty