The year for theatre began with the stunning h.g. an experiential performance, by Trickster-p, in which the audience walked through an installation recreating the dark side of the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. This was followed by Past is Present, directed by Corinne Maier. Sandbox Collective, which brought both productions to Bengaluru, had a phenomenal year.
As Shiva Pathak, one of the founders says: “We opened two new shows, Manav Kaul’s Park in English and No Rest in the Kingdom. Anish Victor’s solo performance, Koogu did 25 shows this year and closed at a final count of 108. This year, in total we have done 35 shows of How Cow Now Cow, directed by Vinod Ravindran.”
The second edition of Gender Bender, which re-imagined the idea of gender and gender inequality through performance, presented by Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Sandbox Collective that co-curated the project with the online magazine, The Ladies Finger, was a sell out. “Queen Size, a choreographic response to section 377, travelled to the North-East, Mumbai and Pune,” says Shiva.
The Hindu Theatre Fest 2016 held at Ranga Shankara presented Sunil Shanbag-directed Loretta, produced by Theatre Arpana, Mumbai-based QTP’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and Yatagarasu, a written and directed by Yuki Elias.
Jagriti Theatre opened the year with Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo. Bengaluru-based Kalayan Theatre presented a tribute to Munshi Premchand titled Ek Shaam Premchand ke naam, written by Mathura Kalauny. Bangalore School of Speech & Drama presented Hasnein Sheikh’s Cardamom, all shows were said to be housefull. Jagriti staged David Lindsay Abaire’s Rabbit Hole. City-based Puneet Gupta’s Mad Hats Theatre staged a unique presentation of shadow work of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman.
For all who think that the theatre scene was all serious, there was Leila Alvares’ excellently-produced Young Frankenstein with the songs goo-goo eyed Igor and David and Robert Goodale’s Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, which brought the Code of the Woosters alive on stage cow creamer and all.