Theatre

The Festival in Chennai - Edition VII

This August is a particularly busy period for The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest. Launched in Chennai in 2005, the seventh edition of the Fest will feature 20 performances in five cities – in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and, for the very first time, Kochi.

Six of the seven plays selected for Chennai this year will travel to one or more of the other four cities where the Fest takes place. As a result, the event will have a similar character or flavour across cities. Such programming also benefits invited theatre groups, which have the opportunity to perform in multiple venues.

The seven plays staged in Chennai, three of them from abroad, couldn’t be more diverse in terms of content and genre.

From Korea, we have Creative Group Noni, which contemporises traditional Korean puppet theatre to propel the narrative in its play ‘Kkok-Du’. Chennai's evam experiments with Trans-Theatre in its adaptation of David Mamet's cult play, ‘The Duck Variations’. Quaff Theatre from Mumbai takes a comic and tongue-in-cheek look at the conventions of the whodunit with Tom Stoppard’s ‘The Real Inspector Hound’, employing exaggeration and extravagance. Also from Mumbai is Akvarious Productions’ award-winning ‘The Interview’, a dark comedy in which the everyday leads intriguingly to the unexpected.

Up next is Mind Adventures Theatre Company from Sri Lanka, which performs ‘The Travelling Circus’, a bold piece of non-linear theatre that grapples with issues of war and displacement and is based on a short story by Sri Lankan poet and writer MASii. From Milwaukee, U.S.A, comes ‘Success’ by Theatre MXT, a play which premiered in 1991 but has been rewritten to keep with the times. On our request, the play was turned into a collaborative venture with the inclusion of an Indian actress, who was selected after auditions and worked and rehearsed online with the director and the cast. The curtains come down on the festival with The Company Theatre from Mumbai, which performs ‘The Blue Mug’, with an altered cast and further improvisations in the script and after hugely successful tours in the U.S.A., Europe and Singapore.

Over the years, our engagement with theatre has grown considerably. This is reflected in the Fest travelling to more and more cities. In 2008, we instituted the annual The Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award, which carries a prize of Rs. 1 lakh for the best play script in English. Last year, the scripts that won the first three awards were spun out into a book published by Penguin. And, as before, we have allied activities such as workshops and symposiums on theatre to enrich the experience of the Fest.

We hope you enjoy what we have in store this year. And we hope you continue supporting the Fest as you have done since its inception.

N. Ram

Editor-in-Chief

The Hindu


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 1:23:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/the-festival-in-chennai-edition-vii/article2327653.ece

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