How does one do a 5D play? Well, you won’t find out till you see 13 Margosa Mahal, because director PD Satish Chandra isn’t giving away any of the secrets today. What we do know is this – the play is going to come at all your senses, all at once. And while the play is in Kannada, you don’t really have to know the language because as Chandra explains, “It’s not that dialogue-heavy so anyone can watch the play and enjoy it.”
“When we started Kala Soudha, one of our objectives was to make it into a cultural hub; we wanted to encourage newer productions. I also wanted a new audience. The only thing at that time, which came to my mind, was to add some grandeur and do a production we had never done before,” explains Chandra.
Given that horror is one of his favourite genres, he began to research more on it and found out about French theatre groups that would add a lot of elements to their performances. “That’s where I got the first reference to 5D. It was all very thrilling for us. And as far as my research goes, this is the first time Kannada theatre will experience something like this,” he adds.
What is 13, Margosa Road all about? The story revolves around a paid vacation gone wrong when three techie friends end up spending a night at a hill station. The tag line, which says, “horror was never so funny’, is pretty much self-explanatory – what you get is a mix of spooks and laughs. And yes, Raghu Dixit has done the music for this play, so it has a very high chance of being absolutely entertaining.
Coming to the present conditions of Kannada theatre, we ask Chandra if regional theatre does well enough in this State. “I believe Kannada theatre does fairly well in the State, as compared to English theatre here. And I am speaking from the perspective of the ones who are involved in theatre. Nearly all the technicians work with Kannada and English theatre and make a decent living. A lot of the actors too have started their careers with Kannada theatre. I am also seeing a change in the way Kannada theatre is being presented. Traditional methods are being contested by newer experiments and younger concepts. Original scripts are being written. Of course, traditional theatre will always have its audience, but now there is room for the younger generations to come in,” Chandra explains.
Innovation is very important, he states, to ensure that the audiences keep coming back. “This holds true especially for younger groups. And at Kala Soudha, 70% of the performances are by new groups. We want to encourage new theatre because that’s the only way to usher in change and break the monotony, if you know what I mean,” Chandra says.
And yes, what is truly unique about this play is that they stage it only on thirteenths that fall on a Friday. Cool, eh?
Be at KH Kala Soudha, Ramanjaneya Temple Compound, Hanumantha Nagar, 7.30pm, on December 13