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Long before Dev.D catapulted Kalki Koechlin into fame,the actor had discovered the power of the stage.

Kalki Koechlin turns playwright and into the Skeleton Woman

Long before Dev.D catapulted Kalki Koechlin into fame,the actor had discovered the power of the stage. She now prepares to stage her play The Skeleton Woman in Delhi over this weekend,and looks set to join the ranks of Bollywood denizens “who remain theatre actors all their lives”.

The Skeleton Woman is inspired by an Inuit folk tale about a fisherman who one day nets a skeleton. The skeleton woman follows him home and a deep bond develops between them. “The tale haunted me. It’s about life,love,loneliness and death,and about metaphorical deaths within relationships,” says Koechlin. It affected her enough to become a playwright. “When I started writing,I didn’t know which way to go. I had never written a script,so I was naturally very worried,” says Koechlin,who studied drama at Goldsmith’s University in London and acted at London’s Theatre of Relativity for two years before returning to India and becoming part of the Mumbai theatre circuit.

Midway through scripting,Koechlin turned to her Mumbai co-actor Prashant Prakash for help and together they had the script ready by January. “Along the way,the protagonist becomes a young writer who is also a fisherman. He has a powerful imagination and often finds himself tangled in his own creations. With sharks in his living room,a goose that speaks,and a skeleton that’s driving him mad,he struggles to have a grasp on what’s real and what’s in his head. With him through all of this is his wife who is constantly trying to bring him back to earth,” says Prakash,24,who was with Company Theatre until he decided to start Quaff Theatre with Koechlin. Directed by Nayantara Kotian,the play moves from being dark to one packed with humour. “Now,it is a playful drama with a strong underlying meaning,” says Koechlin.

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First published on: 11-04-2009 at 02:41:33 am
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