The Hindu | Remembering Bangalore
Written by Gautam Raja, presented by Jagriti Theatre, City Bang Bang will feature short sketches that offer a fun and interesting perspective on city life
– Sravasti Datta
The Bangalore of yore may have been lost to a rapidly-developing landscape, but memories of old Bangalore endures. Gautam Raja’s upcoming production City Bang Bang will re-kindle memories of old Bangalore this weekend. Directed by Arundhati Raja, City Bang Bang is a series of short sketches that “offer a fun, yet pertinent look at city life”. “All the plays have been performed in some form or the other,” says Gautam. The production will feature some well-known sketches such as Damini the Damager , God, Ten Ton Tongue and will end with Pub Crawl, one of Gautam’s most popular plays.
Pub Crawl, though written in the mid-1990s, is relevant even today. “Pub Crawl is about how a young guy goes to a pub with his friends, but he doesn’t drink. Even though we have moved on from the whole excitement of pubs to an enthusiasm over malls, Bangalore is still a young city and people go out in the evenings to party. This is something the audience will relate to,” says Gautam, whose plays have been performed in the UK, US and India.
The short sketches are full of black comedy. “There is a dark, underlying element to the plays,” explains Gautam.
The plays will also evoke nostalgia for the old Bangalore. The production will be further enhanced by Bangalore’s well-known cartoonist Paul Fernandes’s illustrations of the city of the 1970s and 1980s. “His sketches will be displayed at the foyer and will form the backdrop to the play.” The sets have been kept minimal, and Paul’s illustrations will make the sets colourful and interesting.
For this production, Gautam is the lighting designer. “I step away from looking at the play as a writer and look at it from a different angle.”
The members of the cast include Vivek Madan, Rebecca Spurgeon, Lekha Naidu and Anirudh Acharya.
Read as it appeared in The Hindu here.
Jagriti is a Performance Arts space dedicated to Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy. Founded in 2011 by Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, the space has hosted several productions from India and around the world. A 200-seat theatre, built around a full-thrust stage, it is fully equipped to cater to both artistes and audience. The main stage is designed for intimate performances, with adjoining spaces for informal lectures and gatherings, and an attached restaurant- 'The Fat Chef'. Jagriti is owned and operated by the not-for-profit ART Foundation, a registered charitable trust.
The Rooftop - above the main auditorium is an open-to-sky space with a staging area that can accommodate about 50 people. A raised and walled off platform can work as a perfect area for puppet theatre. The Rooftop has a restroom and a pantry.
The Terrace - alongside the auditorium, the Terrace can accommodate about 20 people as an informal gathering area.
Lumbini - extending out from the foyer, Lumbini has a stage and an open-to-sky terraced space for about 80 people.