In love with theatre, after 'Nothing Like Lear' at BITS Pilani

Pilani (Rajasthan), Oct 9 (IANS) In a first of sorts, technology and science scholars at BITS-Pilani got the opportunity to interact closely with career theatre people on campus at the inaugural of their three-day maiden theatre festival. As the premiere offering, "Nothing Like Lear", a modern adaptation of the Bard of Avon's famous tragedy, was a treat for the technology and science students, who relished every moment of it.

The solo, one-act play was a 90-minute affair -- and the 1,800-capacity auditorium on the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)-Pilani campus was Monday packed with a rapt student audience that guffawed at times but plunged into silence and sorrow at others.

The audience laughed out aloud with delight at the sexual innuendoes that were plentiful, and revelled too in the bawdy humour of the play, directed by Rajat Kapoor and featuring Vinay Pathak.

"Nothing Like Lear" is a modern adaptation of the classic, an attempt to take from Shakespeare's "King Lear" the major themes - betrayal, the relationship with an illegitimate brother, and the fraught ties with children, the vicissitudes of life and family - and portray these as unfolding in the life of a professional clown.

Vinay Pathak would enter the role, then just as suddenly emerge from it, and question the audience's empathy with the character he essayed.

The humour was often slapstick and the actor at one point even let his pants roll to the floor, revealing underpants with a large Batman insignia strategically placed.

Even so, the theme of the play bordered on tragedy, and there were instances when the clown cried, uncontrollably.

The audience sat in rapt attention, guffawing at times but plunged into silence and sorrow at others.

After the play, students were invited to an interaction with the director, actor and others involved in the lighting of the stage and the sound management.

Most of the questions pertained to how Kapoor and Pathak had forayed into theatre, and how they planned their work.

The answers, patiently delivered, told of a life of commitment to art and drama, and of not thinking of audience responses at the time of grappling with the script of the play.

Kapoor also spoke of the engagement with friends and colleagues -- he and Pathak have worked in close collaboration for nearly two decades and experienced a whole host of triumphs and failures together -- of reading Shakespeare several times over, identifying with the classic deeply, and feeling the liberty to take from it what pleased them.

One student wondered why theatre was not more widely watched and performed, and said she had never before witnessed a play. Kapoor, in response, said he had also never watched a play until he was nearly 18.

The students mobbed the actors soon after the interaction, and there was much discussion for long even after the session was formally over.

Kapoor was later seen playing cricket with a few students past midnight.

Many of the students were obviously thrilled with the whole experience.

Akanksha, a second-year engineering student, said the Hindi drama club on campus was quite active, performing two plays in each semester.

"But it is rarely that one gets to watch professional theatre," she said.

This was the first time that BITS was hosting career theatre people on campus.

"The festival is meant to foster an interest in theatre among students whose primary courses of study are technology and science," said B. Geetha, head of the department of humanities.

After Pathak's sterling performance, many students confessed to being quite in awe of theatre.

One sprightly girl was seen leaping in joy, having just shaken hands with Pathak.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Kriti finds Sonam, Deepika, Priyanka stylish

    New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) "Heropanti" actress Kriti Sanon finds Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra chic. In one of the episodes of the show, designer Nishka Lulla will be seen styling her in a neo grunge look. …

  • Amitabh Bachchan 'excited' about promoting Kisan TV

    Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Hindi cinestar Amitabh Bachchan will be adding his weight to the newly launched DD Kisan channel, a 24-hour farmer-centric channel, and he is said to be "excited" about promoting the platform. A source close to the 72-year-old told IANS: "He is personally very excited and enthusiastic about promoting Kisan, but an official announcement about Mr. Bachchan's association will be made formally in the near future." The actor is also likely to contribute to audio visual …

  • 'Umrao Jaan' director Muzaffar Ali wraps up 'Jaanisaar'

    Gurgaon, May 27 (IANS) Filmmaker Muzaffar Ali, who gave Indian cinema the cult classic "Umrao Jaan" three decades ago, has completed work on his new period drama "Jaanisaar", starring Pakistani actor Imran Abbas Naqvi. "'Jaanissar' is set in the period when we lost the First War of Independence in 1857, a time when the British created a subjugated nation," Muzaffar said on the last day of the shoot here on Tuesday. The Sufi song has been composed by the director himself along with Shafqat Ali. …

  • Nadiadwala to promote 'Housefull 3' at IPL 2016?

    Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Producer Sajid Nadiadwala is planning to tie up with Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 to promote his film "Housefull 3" on a large scale. Confirming the news, spokesperson for the film said: "Even though IPL 2016 is a year away, we have tied up with it. It is the first of its kind and 'Housefull 3' will be promoted there on a grand scale." The announcement comes after Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 came to an end with Mumbai Indians clutching the trophy. …

  • Taapsee Pannu to don khaki in Selvaraghavan's 'Kaan'

    Chennai, May 27 (IANS) Actress Taapsee Pannu, who is basking in the blockbuster success of Tamil horror-comedy "Kanchana 2", is all set to don khaki for the first time in her career in upcoming Tamil action-thriller "Kaan". One is a proper family drama where I play a girl who hails from Kumbakonam, and the other is an action thriller where I play a cop under mission," Taapsee told IANS. …

  • I'm absolutely fine: Adah Sharma on accident rumour

    Hyderabad, May 27 (IANS) Actress Adah Sharma on Wednesday refuted rumours that she met with an accident while shooting for a Telugu film here. Reports spread on Tuesday evening that Adah fell off a bike and was hit by a bus on the sets of a Telugu film. …

  • 'Baahubali' trailer to launch in Dolby Atmos sound

    Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) The trailer of S.S. Rajamouli's "Baahubali" will be launched with cutting edge Dolby Atmos surround sound, by Bollywood filmmaker Karaj Johar on June 1. Since not many theatres are equipped with the facility of this highly advanced surround sound technology, the makers had to really sit down and zero in on one venue for the trailer launch, said a source. Dolby Atmos, a latest sound technology, unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by giving filmmakers the …

  • Adah Sharma meets with accident, hospitalised

    Hyderabad, May 27 (IANS) Southern actress Adah Sharma, who has worked in films like "Heart Attack" and "S/O Satyamurthy", reportedly met with an accident while shooting for a Telugu film here. "Adah was shooting for a Telugu film when she fell off a bike and was hit by a bus. Despite several calls to Adah, she could not be reached. …

Loading...