May 25, 2020
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Rahul Da Cunha

The director who is Going Solo with two others defends the state of English theatre

Rahul Da Cunha
Three directors coming together for three plays under one title, Going Solo. How did it happen?
All three are monologues with women as the central characters. Once you have thematic consistency, individual styles don't matter.

Why women as the central theme?
I enjoy working with women. They're more focused as actresses; women characters have more depth.

How did you solve creative tensions between the three of you?
Vikram Kapadia, Anahita Uberoi and I kept our rehearsals separate. Besides, direction is such a lonely job that having two more collaborators is always a joy.

All monologues have been adapted to Indian situations. Why?
One of the biggest problems with English theatre is that there aren't enough playwrights. For some reason we can't seem to write dialogue. So I feel it's better to adapt.

Are there plans to take this production to other cities as well?
We opened this play in Bangalore and Pune. Then we brought it to Mumbai and Delhi. Next it will be Calcutta, Madras and Dubai.

Despite commercial patronage, why is English theatre stagnating?
I don't think I quite agree with you. In the last one year there have been 10-15 good productions unlike what the scene was three years ago. But it's a period of change.

The quality of acting in English theatre is indifferent. Why?
Our actors aren't professionally trained. Despite that, they give decent performances.

Do you see a future for English theatre?
For me as a director, these are exciting times. Today I have an audience for any kind of play. There is a thinking, quality conscious audience out there.

Who do you think is the next big hope in acting today?
Apart from Zafar Karachiwalla I can't think of anyone else. There are very few new good actors. Hence my search for new talent for my next production.

How would you rate Hindi and regional theatre in the country?
Gujarati theatre's bad; Marathi theatre's undergoing cultural change; there's no Hindi theatre to speak of. But there are about 20 English companies in Mumbai alone.

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