For director Rohini Bhatia Singh discovering the script to her upcoming musical The List was quite by chance. The Canadian writer and theatre director was in her home country last year, when she heard critics raving about the original play La Liste — a powerful social commentary by Jennifer Tremblay that has won many awards. “I was quite intrigued by the script and when I read it had toured across North America, I decided to approach the author for the play,” says Rohini, who has since adapted it into a musical. The List that premieres on Sunday at the NCPA, highlights the story of a woman in rural Qubec whose life is revealed through a series of list. It explores her relationship with herself, her neighbour Caroline, her husband, her imaginary lover and her dreams with film actress Nikkesha Rangwala playing the lead in this version.
Talking about prepping for the role she says, “Being a Canadian I could relate to a lot of the issues the character faces like the weather situation, how a woman can feel lonely with no neighbours around etc. The challenge, however, was to learn the entire script, dance moves and work on the voice modulation all together. The play is very layered.” While in this production Nikkesha plays an Indian woman in Canada, Rohini has ensured that she has stuck to the original script. “I’ve created some visualisation to the dialogues without taking away from the original intent. Aside from producer Monjoy Joy Mukerji, we also got Tulsi Kumar onboard who co-composed the songs for the production and even agreed to sing in French for a song. There’s much dance movement as well ranging from Kathak to Pop to Bollywood,” she adds about the ‘experimental’ play.
While it is open to all adults, this monologue is likely to appeal more to women. “Every woman will be able to relate to some facet of the character,” explains Nikkesha.