The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest has arrived. It opens with Bombay Talkies tomorrow evening. Vaishna Roy gives you an idea of what to expect on stage and also chats with its director, Vikram Kapadia

Theatre is story-telling at its best — intimate, powerful, moving and, most important of all, live. This August, we have picked three of the country’s best theatre groups to come to Kochi with their stories as part of the The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest. You can laugh or cry with them, get furious, get uncomfortable, or have fun, but you certainly can’t ignore them. Read on, to find out a little bit more about what’s in store this year.

Bombay Talkies

The Orchid Room Experiment,

Mumbai

Mumbai, Maximum City, where 20 million people struggle to survive and grow. Where success, poverty, crime, romance, corruption and beauty co-exist and create a collage that is terribly depressing but strangely inspiring at the same time. Vikram Kapadia of The Orchid Room Experiment from Mumbai, who has written and directed the play, captures the sheer magic of the city with a series of eight monologues, each presented by an individual whose story becomes a microcosm of the city itself.

The format is similar to the anthology film genre, like New York Stories or Bollywood’s own Life in a Metro. What appears to be a series of seemingly unlinked stories reveals itself to be a shared leitmotif of urban struggle, failure and success.

There’s Neha Chopra, former TV newsreader, disenchanted with breaking news and on a journey to find herself and her country. There’s the man in his early 40s, in a Mumbai high-rise in 2091, talking to the audience just before committing suicide. Then you have Baby Dimple, former child artiste, trying to reinvent herself as a Bollywood star… each character different but each similar in his or her despair or irony.

Playing on 3 August at 7:30 pm, Kerala Fine Arts Auditorium.