That ‘thing’ behind the curtains or between the sheets or better off behind the stage is what Atul Kumar has put up this time in his play titled Noises Off. After creating a wave with his cult Piya Behroopiya, the director gears up to put together an act to see what transpires between actors, directors, stage hands etc.
‘It is a play within a play about a theatre company trying to put up a sex farce but because of their incompetence the entire thing turns into a big fiasco. It’s a comical look at what we all go through as theatre makers. Mainly exploring the noise that is made backstage (talking, fighting, constructing, electric) or as we say in theatre language off-stage as opposed to on-stage.’ said Atul.
Originally written by Michael Frayn, Atul directed the version ten years back and calls it one of the most translated and played comedy in the world- obviously a favourite of the theatre goers.
‘I think a long time back Barry John directed a production in Delhi with Lilette Dubey and Shahrukh Khan acting in it,’ he added.
So what really inspired this play? ‘It is extremely clever and funny look at what we all as theatre makers go through in our lives while at work and at home. It is a play I have liked since the first time I read it ten years back and I think I will direct it again and again. Whatever be the age and wherever you might be in this world if you do theatre it is difficult to not fall in love with Noises Off.’
‘We worked very quickly this time- we prepared the play within a month. We rehearsed for 10 hours or so first fortnight and then half a day in the end,’ he added. The play has a 70’s look with dress and makeup. And it was exciting to light up the backstage when the stage turns around to show you the backstage act.
Any expectations or apprehensions from the Delhi audience? ‘They should just come with open hearts and open minds. Noises Off is no deep piece of literature- it is very simply a funny look at the follies of a theatre company- its like saying lets look at this classicaly- a man is going to slip over a banana skin and it is still funny today,’ Atul quipped.
Where- Kamani Auditorium
When- 17- 18 August
Timings- 7.30 pm onwards