Saurabh Shukla has been one of the most prolific actors in today’s time. Despite being so popular in cinema, he has always been a ‘theatrist’ at heart. He has done some of the longest-running theatre plays in the history of Indian theatre and has been a stalwart in his own respect.
Recently, he was part of Zee Theatre's ‘Khamosh Adalat Jaari Hai’, which has garnered an immense response from audiences all over. As everyone celebrates World Theatre Day on March 27, Saurabh Shukla talks to Prateek Sur about his life in theatre and lots more. Excerpts:
What is the importance of theatre according to you?
For a theatrist, theatre has exactly the same importance as life. And I include audiences in the term, 'Theatrist' as well.
How is the medium adapting to changing times and changes in the consumption of entertainment today?
I'm not an analyst, so I'm not the right person to answer that. I'm a practitioner so I just keep living. It's like asking a human being how life has changed over a thousand years. You won't be able to figure it out. Yes, of course, you have history to refer to and of course, the evolution of life itself is based on change but only some historians or analysts can analyse the extent of that change accurately. I’m absolutely not the right person for that.
Would you agree that theatre is more powerful in terms of its impact on the minds of the audiences vs any other medium?
There's a wonderful sequence in a film called 'Fame' by director Alan Parker where a student in an art school dabbles in different art forms. When he goes to dance classes, he is told this is the best form of art. When he goes to drama classes, he is told that theatre is the amalgamation of all arts on one platform. And finally, when he goes to the music class, the music teacher says that music beats all other art forms. So, if I'm doing theatre, then of course for me, theatre is the highest form of art but the same holds true for poetry, music, dance, painting, and cinema. So, whatever your chosen discipline is, it becomes the best form of self-expression.