‘What’s the point of a structure like the Gaiety Theatre, if it’s not maintained?’ : The Tribune India

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‘What’s the point of a structure like the Gaiety Theatre, if it’s not maintained?’

After staging his solo play, Manav Kaul expresses dismay over the Trasaadi of dramatic arts in India

‘What’s the point of a structure like the Gaiety Theatre, if it’s not maintained?’

Manav Kaul performs his solo play Trasaadi at the Gaiety Theatre in Shimla . TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Navneet Rathore

Shimla, June 17

“People in India do not take theatre seriously. What is the point of having such a historic structure if it is not being maintained,” questioned theatre writer, director and actor Manav Kaul during an exclusive interview with The Tribune.

Kaul, who has also worked in many Bollywood projects, recently performed his solo play Trasaadi at the historic Gaiety Theatre in Shimla.

Displeased with the lack of soundproofing at the theatre, which he termed “shameful”, the artiste said, “While I was performing, I could hear all kinds of sounds that were coming from outside, like the Summer Festival at The Ridge.”

“I pushed so hard, but I could only give 50 per cent of my performance,” said Kaul.

A soundproofing system in a theatre was a basic requirement, which could not be ignored, he added.

“You can go anywhere around the country, be it New Delhi, Bareilly or Bhopal, all of the theatres are sound proof,” he said.

Situated at the historic Ridge in the heart of the town, Gaiety Theatre was designed by English architect Henry Irvin in the gothic revival style, derived from British Victorian examples. The theatre was opened on May 30, 1887, as a five-storey building with a theatre, ballroom, armoury, police office, bar, and galleries.

However, after nearly two decades of its establishment, it was found that the building was structurally unsafe and was partially demolished.

The theatre has witnessed performances by legendary actors including Balraj Sahni, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Tom Alter and Naseeruddin Shah.

Talking about his play Trasaadi, Kaul said the play had been derived from his short story Maa, which he had written in 2002. As for his upcoming projects, Kaul said he was going to start working on a musical play, and would continue to stage Trasaadi in various cities across the country, including Mumbai, Bareilly, Bangalore and Jaipur.

He did not, however, have any plans to don the director’s hat for a movie as of now, Kaul remarked.

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