New Delhi, June 28: The fourth edition of India’s much anticipated theatre spectacular, the Delhi Theatre Festival, will soon return to the national capital’s cultural corridors after a three-year break. This year’s festival hopes to fully immerse theatre enthusiasts in the enchantment and grandeur of the performing arts by building on its prior accomplishments.
Delhi Theatre Festival 2023 will take place from August 4 to August 6 and span three incredible days. To provide a genuinely immersive theatrical experience, this year’s host venues include cutting-edge locations like Siri Fort Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium, and OP Jindal Auditorium in New Delhi and the prestigious Orana Conventions in Gurugram.
With an impressive line-up comprising of 7 homegrown plays performed across three days, audiences can expect to be enthralled by critically acclaimed performances by eminent theatre luminaries such as Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Piyush Mishra, Lillete Dubey, Shekhar Suman, Vinay Pathak, Shabana Azmi, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and Kanwaljit Singh. The line-up includes plays such as Ismat Apa Ke Naam, Dopehri, Vodka & No Tonic, Ballimaaraan, Ek Haan, Nothing Like Lear and Kaifi Aur Main
Prabhu Tony, COO and Co-Founder, Alchemist Live, envisions the Delhi Theatre Festival as a global platform for theatre enthusiasts. He shares, “The overwhelming response to the last three seasons has inspired us to create an even more diverse and engaging fourth season. We are very proud to have established a platform where theatre will thrive and envision the annual ‘Delhi Theatre Festival’ to be the breeding ground for theatre in India. As we embark on a brand-new season, we plan to enthral our audience with iconic acts. Their presence is certain to elevate the theatrical offerings to unprecedented heights, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all attendees. This endeavour reflects our commitment to expanding the horizons of theatre and fostering a vibrant community of creative talent”.
A longstanding patron of the festival, Naseeruddin Shah says, “It is our pleasure, Motley’s and mine to be at Delhi Theatre Festival for the fourth year in a row and it’s always wonderful to be a part of the festival because it spreads awareness about the various kinds of plays that are being done. Plus, the Delhi audience has always been very special for me because I learnt my craft here in the drama school in 1970. We hope that we will continue to be a part of the Delhi Theatre Festival.”
Resonating with him, Pankaj Kapur adds, “I’m happy that such festivals are being held because it will enrich the Delhi audiences and will give us more opportunities to perform in front of people”
Shekhar Suman whose play is showing in the region for the very first time says, “I am privileged to bring our play ‘Ek Haan’ that is based on the life of Saadat Hasan Manto, for the first time to the Delhi audience and especially at American Express presents Delhi Theatre Festival Season 4.”
The Delhi Theatre Festival 2023 is poised to be an extraordinary celebration of the performing arts, captivating audiences with its unrivalled theatrical prowess and awe-inspiring talent. Established as the pinnacle of theatrical destinations in India, the Delhi Theatre Festival has captivated the hearts of theatre aficionados with its’ exceptional repertoire of extraordinary performances and this season promises to be no exception. From thought-provoking dramas that explore the depths of the human experience to spellbinding musicals that ignite the senses, each production will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
ABOUT THE PLAYS
Ismat Apa Ke Naam – Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Hiba Shah
Enter the enchanting world of Ismat Chughtai, the trailblazing feminist and literary genius, through a captivating solo act. Naseeruddin Shah brings to life the compelling stories of Ismat Apa in three remarkable acts: ‘Gharwali,’ ‘Mughal Bachcha,’ and ‘Chhui Muee.’ Prepare to be enthralled as Shah takes you on a mesmerising journey through the powerful narratives of this literary icon.
Dopehri – Pankaj Kapur
Immerse yourself in the streets of Lucknow and step into the world of Amma Bi, an elderly woman on a transformative journey. Pankaj Kapur’s novella comes alive on stage, transporting you through the emotions, solitude, and self-discovery of a 65-year-old woman residing in a magnificent haveli. Prepare for a theatrical experience that combines lights, music, and the evocative storytelling of Kapur’s masterpiece.
Vodka & No Tonic – Lillete Dubey, Ira Dubey, Joy Sengupta
Step into the world of “Lockdown Liaisons,” a collection of captivating short stories penned by acclaimed writer Shobhaa De. Join Lillete Dubey on a compelling exploration of the fragility of human relationships within the confines of home. Through varying perspectives, this poignant play examines love, upheaval, and the transformations that emerged during the extraordinary times of the pandemic.
Ballimaaraan- Piyush Mishra
Embark on a musical journey paying tribute to the legendary poet Mirza Ghalib with Ballimaaraan, a band that blends genres and emotions. Inspired by the lanes of Delhi where Ghalib once resided, experience the fusion of retro and contemporary tunes. Piyush Mishra’s heartfelt lyrics bring an engaging conversation to life, creating a youthful and rebellious energy that resonates with audiences.
Ek Haan – Shekhar Suman, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi
Transport yourself to the post-Partition era of 1951 and delve into the life and writings of renowned writer Manto. Through the eyes of Kashmiri journalist Wazira, played by Shekhar Suman, explores the enigmatic relationship between Wazira and Manto. As their interactions unfold, Manto’s finest stories come alive on stage, shedding light on his life and his fierce feminism. Experience a powerful narrative that resonates with the present cultural and political climate.
Nothing Like Lear – Vinay Pathak
Vinay Pathak’s spellbinding performance in “Nothing Like Lear” offers a fresh and contemporary take on Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy. Pathak’s impeccable portrayal of a man grappling with power, family, and personal demons promises a riveting experience that pushes the boundaries of theatrical storytelling.
Kaifi Aur Main – Shabana Azmi, Kanwaljit Singh, Jaswinder Singh
Immerse yourself in the extraordinary love story of renowned poet Kaifi Azmi and his wife Shaukat Kaifi. Let veteran actors Shabana Azmi and Kanwaljit Singh take you on an immersive journey through the life of Kaifi Azmi. Experience the heartfelt narration of his early years, courtship, and the magic of Bombay in the 1950s. Accompanied by soul-stirring performances by Jaswinder Singh and a live orchestra, this play reading celebrates the remarkable moments of Kaifi’s life and his lyrical legacy.
Tickets can be booked on BookMyShow.