Art & Entertainment

Prashant Damle

The thespian on making it to the Guinness Book of Records for the maximum number of theatre shows—10,700 over 30 years.

Prashant Damle

When did you break the world record?

In 2005, we had our 7,777th performance. At that time, I found the Guinness record was 10,288 performances. And recently, we found that we had already surpassed it.

The record's importance to Marathi theatre?

Marathi theatre gets a global platform.

Did you always dream of an acting career?

I am actually a singer. But I got an opportunity to act 30 years ago and I enjoyed it.

How do you balance music and acting?

Music and theatre are integrated. The prod­ucers get a better package, the audience gets a better variety because I do a bit of everything.

You are also famous for your diet.

At the 10,700th show, my team gifted me vada pav. That shows just how much I diet.

There is a revival of classic musicals in Marathi theatre. Is there an audience for it?

These are very long plays with loads of songs. Now, people don't have the time or patience. But there is a specific, middle-aged audience.

Is it difficult to be a comic actor?

Comedy is 100 per cent dependent on the audience and their reaction. Normally, if the script and timing are perfect, it works.

Why don't you venture into other genres?

My speciality is comedy. Comedy has many flavours. Lekure Udanda Jhali may seem funny but has serious, even tragic undercurrents.

What do you look for in a musical?

The financial equation and the drama. At the same time, the songs have to be easy on the ears and the lyrics simple.

How different is present generation of theatre artistes?

Today's generation has a tendency to listen and watch rather than to read. So we take that into account while training them. However, I feel every human being has a bit of rhythm in him/her and we just have to bring that out.