Hyderabad Theatre Weekend brings buoyancy to the stage

The first edition unveils this weekend with ‘Mulling with Mueller’ and ‘Miya Biwi Ke Mantakha’ by Octopus Studios and Tahir Ali Baig Productions

December 21, 2023 02:50 pm | Updated 02:50 pm IST

Rahul Reddy and Anmona during a rehearsal session

Rahul Reddy and Anmona during a rehearsal session | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Rahul Reddy looks forward to a new chapter in Hyderabad’s theatre circuit “This is my second innings,” says the actor, director and founder of Octopus Studios referring to Hyderabad Theatre Weekend (HTW) being organised in association with Tahir Ali Baig Productions on December 22 and 23.

Artistes during a rehearsal session

Artistes during a rehearsal session | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Octopus Studios, in collaboration with city-based writer-director Tahir Ali Baig, brings Mulling with Mueller on December 22. “Written by American playwright Lee Mueller in 2013, Mulling with Mueller is an abstract play that is relevant,” says Rahul, who had earlier staged this play in Hyderabad for a short skit competition in 2014.

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Rahul Reddy

Rahul Reddy | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Produced by Taher and directed by Rahul, Mulling with Mueller comprises two plays — The Thing That Happened In Gaza and The Spoiler. Rahul explains, ”The Thing That Happened In Gaza tells the story of a region that witnesses an event that needs to be reported but nobody pays heed to it. It is similar to the devastation happening in Gaza but none of us are acting on it; we seem to have become tone deaf and are carrying on with our lives.”

The Spoiler talks about how we, the people, have become the destroyers of our own world. “Be it climate change, food security or deforestation… the world seems to be coming to an end due to these man-made things.”

In contrast, on December 23 is Miya Biwi Ke Mantakha, a Dakhani (Hyderabadi Hindi) adaptation of a Marathi play by Yogesh Somanand, which has been translated by Saurabh Gharipurikar. Directed by Taher, the humorous play deals with all couple things, with Rahul playing the miya (husband) and Anmona playing his wife.

Theatre journey

Rahul Reddy and Anmona during a rehearsal session

Rahul Reddy and Anmona during a rehearsal session | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Reflecting on his 14-year-old theatre journey, Rahul says that HTW is an attempt to go back to the roots. Octopus Studios had last staged a play, Acute Angle, in December 2019. During a break due to the pandemic, he moved to Mumbai to work on a tech startup. But he felt a void and returned to Hyderabad and stage to start a new journey. “I realised I have to go back to basics to make a beginning and theatre is what I know the best.” He and Tahir together have created Hyderabad Theatre Weekend.

HTW is their new IP (intellectual property) where they plan to place Hyderabad centrestage. “We plan to take our theatre to different cities and the world and also bring productions from other cities to Hyderabad.” When we call it a big plan, Rahul quips, “Chinnaga chese alavaatu ledu (I cannot do small). The team hopes 2024 will make their theatre dreams come true.

Mulling with Mueller and Miya Biwi Ke Mantakha to be staged as part of Hyderabad Theatre Weekend at Rangbhoomi Spaces on December 22 and 23; Tickets: 499; bookmyshow.com

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