Thursday, 23 June 2011

Old Man

I suddenly unearthed this sketch while going through and sorting out some of my stuff. Its a quick one done during a Perch trip to Calicut in 2007. Fourteen of us had wandered all over Calicut for four days in search of ideas for sets, costumes, characters and genuine flavour for two upcoming productions.

This man was from the Moplah community of Kuttichera and wears the typical head-gear, a large white cotton handkerchief with a thin blue border and it's tied from back to front with a knot on the forehead. Kuttichera is a locality in the Northern part of calicut where we found a lot of what we were looking for. It's an old locality, dominated by a large water-tank with steps leading down from all sides. The water is clean and quite deep and used for bathing. For safety, a parapet wall runs all around the tank and a pavement along it. This old man was sitting on that parapet in the hot sun catching a few winks.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Weekend train travel

Took the Charminar Express to Hyderabad on friday evening. The colour theme in my coach was, surprisingly, brown! Brown seats, brown curtains and a really strange pinkish-brown floor.

So my sense of equilibrium was restored on sunday evening when I took the Chennai super-fast express back. Somehow comforting to see the trademark blue of the Indian Railways!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Line reading at Rangashankara


These three sketches were done during the first run of shows of Ms Meena at Bangalore in july 2010. Every morning the cast and crew would assemble at Rangashankara after breakfast at ten for a feedback session of the previous day's performance by the director. After this everyone would go up into the audi and the actors would start their line-thru.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Over the last year I've travelled a lot with my theatre group and almost always managed to do at least one sketch on location. This one was done at a theatre institute in a remote village in Karnataka last october. We were staging Ms. Meena as a part of their annual week-long theatre residency programme.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ms Meena at the Museum

Last weekend, Perch had five shows of its latest production and being in charge of lighting I was there from friday till sunday pretty much from morning till night. The venue was Museum theatre in Egmore. Its a beautiful old-world venue for theatre, built in 1896. Below you can see the view I had from my lighting booth.

The play was "Ms.Meena" which we had already toured with extensively in the last nine months and these shows at the museum completed 23 in all. Compared to all other venues across India the audience turn-out in Madras was the poorest. In a way it is surprising since our group is from Madras and we've only done one single show of Ms. Meena before in our city and that was August 2010. But when you think about it, I guess Madras cannot be called a theatre friendly city. The more we travel with plays, to places like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi or even smaller cities in Kerala and Andhra, the more this gets impressed on us.