Meet the Characters – Bombay Talkies

Playwright-director Vikram Kapadia introduces the eight characters from his newest play

“To set the record straight, Black With Equal premiered in 2002 and had a run until 2007, so it’s not like I haven’t seen the stage in 10 years.”

– Vikram Kapadia, on his comeback to playwrighting

With Bombay Talkies, Vikram Kapadia says he makes the character enter a House of Mirrors and the audience is witness to their distorted – sometimes funny, sometimes eery – images. Vikram built the play from a single monologue that he had written for an event to remember victims of the 26/11 terror attack. He added seven more monologues to make Bombay Talkies into a full length production. “The play is about us, now and here. The language is idiomatic and holds on to the local flavour,” says the playwright, before he goes on to introduce his characters to us.

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Rasika Dugal
Baby Dimple is a has-been child star, who is coming to terms with not being recognised anymore and beginning the struggle to make it big in the film industry all over again.

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Darshan Jariwalla
No Tension is about a fixer, or an agent in more decent terms. His job is essentially to get people or parties together for dubious business deals.

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Anahita Uberoi
Relationship Status is about a single mother grappling with loneliness and being taken for granted. The Herculean effort she puts in to bring up her children is simply ignored and building a meaningful relationship from scratch is also not easy.

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Namit Das
Namit’s story — US Visa — is one of the monologues that isn’t very dark and unsettling. Vikram calls it a “sweet, romantic piece’ about a young man standing in the queue for a visa to the United States of America.

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Ishitta Arun
Ideas is about a victim of abuse, not physical, but subtle psychological abuse. She is very creative and tries to prove her worth within the family but is more than often put down by her husband.

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Devika Shahani Punjabi
Wonderland is about a jaded journalist who thrives on the calamities the country faces. Eventually her conscience gets the better of her, she puts in her papers and rediscovers the positive in the society. Vikram considers this one his most positive piece.

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Viraf Phiroz Patel
Seven Tiles is about a successful corporate-type who turns into a by lane of Bandra to juxtapose memories of growing up there in a bungalow vis a vis his current apartment further north of the city. “Growing up is also a euphemism for sex in this piece,” Vikram says.

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Zafar Karachiwala
In The Uprising, Zafar Karachiwala is contemplating suicide because he cannot live in the Mumbai of the 22nd century. In his society, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is in charge of oxygen supply. Isn’t it a wonder Mumbai manages to survive another century even?

Catch Bombay Talkies on April 14 and 15, 7 pm at Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point. Call: +91-22-2282 4567 / +91-22-6622 3724

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