“I haven’t done any play in my life which has a message”

Theatre director Mohit Takalkar‘s newest drama is Mosambi Narangi, wherein Rajit Kapur and Ajeet Singh Palawat play the titular characters. It’s an adaptation by author Ashok Mishra of Irish playwright’s Marie Jone’s tragicomedy Stones in his Pocket and set in Benares, the place Mosambi and Narangi are forged as extras in a Bollywood film. The play can be staged in Mumbai from Friday, January 10 to Sunday, January 12 on the NCPA and on Saturday, January 25 at Royal Opera Theatre House.

Takalkar spoke to us about his expertise of engaged on the play, making an attempt out comedy for the primary time and why he believes performs should not have any message.

Tell us concerning the expertise of directing Mosambi Narangi.   

I used to be invited to do the play by Rage Productions, and at the moment solely Rajit was finalised. So once I got here on board as director, I had the choice to decide on the opposite actor, musicians, scenographers and different facets as properly. I’m recognized for severe performs, and right here I had a comedy on my palms which I actually didn’t know methods to strategy. With a comedy, the most important mistake you may make is to suppose that it’s a must to make it humorous. Once that’s out of the best way, it’s a must to make the characters credible and multi-dimensional people who find themselves not caricatures. From the very starting, that was the focus for Rajit, Ajeet and me. Your characters can’t simply crack jokes to make individuals chuckle; that’s not a play however stand-up comedy.

Also, there was this whole binding by Marie Jones (the author of Stones in His Pockets) that solely two actors would play all of the characters, and that piqued my curiosity. Once we bought into the rehearsal room, it was a very totally different play, as a result of solely two actors essaying all of the characters meant immense arduous work. It was an open, malleable script that we may stage in any approach we wished. While on one hand that sounds liberating, on the opposite, it was an enormous problem as there have been so many issues that would work or not.

How has Stones in His Pockets been tailored to the Indian context?

The play is a couple of huge movie being shot in a rural space in Benares and the whole crew encroaches and exploits the house and folks. In Hindi, the variation is finished by Ashok Mishra, who hails from Benares and is conversant with the language and nuances of the place. Thanks to him, we discovered many hook factors to construct the characters, story. In the unique play, the agricultural backdrop and its innocence and haraamipan type an integral premise. This could be very a lot existent in India as properly. Also, we now have movie stitched into the material of our on a regular basis residing. Most individuals can recite songs and iconic dialogues from Hindi movies by coronary heart. Films are bigger than life, and one thing individuals aspire and dream about. The play fitted as if it was written for the Indian viewers. Adaptations are extraordinarily necessary since you get to inform tales from different elements of the world. You simply want to seek out that time in an adaptation the place you make that story your story.

The unique play was a commentary on the disintegration of the agricultural neighborhood of Ireland. What level is the variation making?

The play has no message. I haven’t performed any play in my life which has a message. A play is to be skilled. If you allow with only one line or an ethical of the story, then you definitely haven’t skilled the play. Any play will dish out one thing totally different for everybody within the viewers. And that one thing retains altering with each viewing. When individuals watch Mosambi Narangi, they are going to get pleasure from it and chuckle their hearts out. But the play additionally turns into extraordinarily poignant at a degree, so they are going to really feel that too. And that’s the success of the play, that there’s a totally different takeaway for everybody.

The play hinges on the chemistry between Rajit Kapur and Ajeet Singh Palawat. What was the dynamic between the 2?

When Rajit comes into the image, he brings years of expertise with him which is clear in his strategy to script and constructing the character. Ajeet hails from a skilled background from the National School of Drama. He’s bought an excessive eye for element and is a really meticulous actor. Fortunately, they complemented one another very well. Had they not had this nice camaraderie, we’d by no means have been capable of pull off what we now have. In a play, crucial factor is the give and take between the actors because it determines their chemistry and their bonding actually helped. The play is a cocktail of Mosambi and Narangi and it was crucial that they construct that and so they did.

I want to add that music additionally performs an integral half in carrying the story ahead. The music group has been very revolutionary and experimented with sounds starting from balloons to cornflakes to water in a bucket to Benarasi people music to create an excellent number of sounds and tunes. The units are wonderful as they create a way of Benares fantastically whether or not it’s the excessive umbrellas, presence of saffron or the ghat steps plagued by movie unit tools. These facets are simply as necessary as the 2 actors upon whom the play rests.