It was only after the release of ‘Black’ in 2005 that playwright and director Saurabh Agarwal found his true calling in theatre rather than the silver screen. Having worked as an assistant to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the film,he says he yearned for an interactive medium for telling stories to audiences. What followed was dedicated research and work that bore fruit in the form of his first play ‘Utter Cupidity’ in 2010. I chose theatre over cinema because it is a much faster,easier and experimental way of telling stories, says Agarwal. His production house,Saurabh Agarwal Productions staged ‘Utter Cupidity’ for the first time in Pune on Friday at Phoenix Market City and will have a repeat showing in Mumbai at the Comedy Store on August 20.
The perfectionist in him,he says,was unsatisfied with the initial format of the play that showcased four stages in a couple’s life. I added more dimensions to the play so it would be something that the audiences could relate with, he says adding,The play now depicts eight stages of the couples lives,starting from their first meeting,the proposal,the engagement,the jittery fits before marriage,the fights after they tie the knot and so on, he explains.
The play opens with Maggie,the female lead,an independent uptown girl,performing a stand-up comic act from a woman’s point of view on the idea of falling in love,getting proposed to and settling down. The same is interspersed with Cupid who comes along to voice his opinions about the situations on stage. It is followed by the entry of Sid,the male protagonist. A universal corporate character,he vents his woes in the same stand-up comic style. The play took the audience through a hilarious,yet heart-touching journey through the lives of Sid and Maggie. One can fall out off their chairs laughing when Maggie decides to lock herself in the bathroom because she is panicking just before her wedding ceremony or when Sid comes up with the most weird proposals of all time as he asks her for her hand in marriage.
The characters of my play are very universal. Everyone in a relationship can relate to them. I wanted to steer away from the regular Raj-Simran love stories and tell my audience about the more real ones. I wanted to bring in the quirkiness and the silliness that every relationship has, says Agarwal,adding that he prefers using a combination of songs,stand-up comedy and dramatics to tell his stories.
Many people from the audience came up to me and told me that they found themselves in the characters,or a situation that was staged happened with them as well. I think my job is done well,I have put forth a good story for my audience to cherish, he adds.