Be it through a splash of hue on a blank canvas, or a dramatic dialogue between two theatre virtuosos, the city has always had multifarious options to cater to a crowd that is in need of entertainment. No matter how busy it claims to be, amidst all the chaos and time-crunch, Mumbai spares quality time for lending its support to the cultural scene. Not only are there a host of platforms to help young theatre aficionados, artists and painters, but also are they finding recognition for their body of work. What better...these multiple art platforms have become both socially alluring and financially assuring. Mumbai has established a brilliant art and theatre scene, with art galleries and theatres at every corner of the city. Again, by strengthening international connections, we're reaching out to a wider audience. Another dimension is the changing scene of stand-up comedy; this form has comfortably slipped into the entertainment zone, with people taking a liking to it. Here's looking at some bright stars who are part of the art revolution in the city.
Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat
Age : 27/26 yrs.
Over the last three years, stand-up has converted from being just an art form to a booming industry. And we can proudly say that Mumbai is a forerunner in this sphere. There are stand-up clubs, open mic contests, and an active participation of the youth in this scene, not to mention the throngs of people who're accepting this as a form of entertainment. With social media going gung-ho about it as well, this industry is now considered cool and edgy. Forget the Jerry Seinfelds and the Russell Peters of the world...time to say hello to the guys who've cracked Mumbai up, literally!
Two funny guys
Starting in 2009, Khamba and Bhat, who got to know each other because of their stand-up connection, decided to collaborate and start a podcast under the name of All India Bhakchod (AIB). Before they knew it, they were working on their first show. At the onset, the duo were just following their passion for stand-up. But in no time, it turned into serious business, and is now a full-fledged industry as well. AIB also put together a satirical video on rape, titled It's Your Fault, featuring Juhi Pandey and Kalki Koechlin, which went viral.
Age : 29 yrs.
A new wave is taking theatre by storm: the young wave. Gone are the times when theatre veterans conducted workshops to rope in the young generation to rekindle the love for theatre among them. Today, the youth are very eager to be a part of this industry and are doing their best to support it. New theatre groups are surfacing. Look around and you'll find experimentals, musicals, improvisations, main-stream and socially relevant theatre.
like mother, like daughter
So what if Ira Dubey happens to be the daughter of a well-known theatre personality? This young girl has earned her well-deserved fame and recognition through merit. Known by directors to be a hard-worker, extremely disciplined and focussed, Ira has worked with her mother in socially-relevant plays like Sammy, Wedding Album, 30 Days in September, Love On The Brink, Adhe Adhure and others. In her mother's solo production, 9 Parts Of Desire, Ira played nine different characters, a feat that very few theatre actors have achieved so far.
Age : 25 yrs.
If the perception you have of art is just the good ol' paintings and installations, here's some food for thought. The city is witnessing a paradigm shift in this industry. While some artists prefer upcycling discarded material to make something unique, others fuse elements like video and photography to create a dramatic narrative. From merging music, dance, drama and theatre, with art, this field is in another league now.
The dramatic artist
We have no idea what to call him. Contemporary artist to some or just a well-read guy with some great concepts to others. No matter what, he's in a constant quest to create something extraordinary and new. Sahej Rahal, a Mumbai-based artist, uses tools, weapons, ancient objects, videos, photographs, and anything under the sun, to weave a narrative around it. "Every object has a little history to it," explains the winner of Solo Show Debut at the first edition of Forbes Art Awards this year.
"Stand-up comedy hardly existed three years ago. The key to being a great stand-up comedian is to be persistent so as to establish yourself as one. My advice to the young generation is to be fearless and they should speak their mind. Every issue should be questioned... religion, Bollywood and politics. Social media is a platform to reach out to the audience."
Karan Talwar, comedian