The New Indian Express | Jagriti Fest Promises Good Old Drama
A life-giving pea-pod, an eagle who lays her eggs in god’s lap, a love triangle between friends, and another story of Ravana’s 10 heads — Jagriti Theatre’s new season has an even sprinkling of all things absurd, and all things nice. Like every year, this season too, five of Jagriti’s productions will run for 11 shows each.
“Besides these five productions, the season is peppered with comedy, music and dance shows of course,” informs Rebecca Spurgeon, who has dramatised and directed the season’s first production, The Worker’s Bible.
A collection of four stories, including one on the Biblical version of creation, The Worker’s Bible is inspired by Italian folklore. It sees Roy Sinai, Anitha Santhanam, Jimmy Xavier and Bhavana Rajendran in the roles of God, Adam, Eve, pigs, dung beetle and more.
“All these characters in the play are basically telling us their version of creation. And not just creation, but also how things came to be the way they are. For example, there’s a part where the pigs tell us the elaborate story of when they had wings and went to heaven, and why they have the noses that they do,” elaborates Spurgeon.
Much like in the lore of fallen angels, it was when god was upset with the pigs that they fell from heaven and lost their wings. “There are many, many parallels that one can draw to the story. The pigs could be the middle class, they could be people who’ve asked god for a certain way out, and have not got that. So in that sense the characters in the play are quite multi-dimensional, and they represent many things,” she explains.
The production also sees a number of musical scores, including one in which the dung beetle takes centre stage, because, he’s upset about his ball of crap — over the top renditions of the distinctively stylised characters is what makes this production an interesting bet.
Other theatre productions that Jagriti will stage this season include Vijay Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story which is directed by Mumbai’s Akash Khurana, R K Narayan’s Swami and Friends by Aruna Ganesh Ram, Delhi-based Deepak Dhamija’s Teen Sakina Manzil, and Veenapani Chawla’s The Tenth Head.
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. 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.