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‘It is very funny and very dark, just what I like’

Director Atul Kumar on his latest play, Trivial Disasters

Written by Dipanita Nath | Mumbai | Updated: September 12, 2014 1:00:26 am
Purab Kohli and Kalki Koechlin Purab Kohli and Kalki Koechlin

In the banal, Mumbai-based director Atul Kumar of Piya Behroopiya and Noises-Off fame, finds dark humour. His latest production, titled Trivial Disasters, is like molten chocolate in colour and consistency — thick, muddy, bittersweet and both tempting and tough to swallow. Trivial Disasters is made up of eight short sketches in which characters find themselves in absurd everyday situations and take even more absurd decisions ‘like going shopping for a kettle to a mall and ending up shopping for a husband or wife’. Says the director, “I like Roald Dahl stories, in which something simple is turned round and round and round until everything begins to look upside down.” Mention the Bollywood names that star in this play — Kalki Koechlin, Richa Chadda, Purab Kohli and Cyrus Sahukar as leads — and Kumar sounds surprised, “Bollywood? Really? I know them only as fine actors.”

Cyrus Sahukar

I have never worked with him before. He has done television and I found him to be a really funny guy. He makes you laugh so effortlessly and in the play, one of his roles is of an old man who is turning senile.

Purab Kohli

I  judged him in a college theatre competition once and wanted to work with him. In Trivial Disasters, he plays a serial killer, a homophobic man and a young boy who is forced to go to confession but has nothing to confess.

Kalki Koechlin

She is very professional, arrives on time, knows all the lines and makes that extra effort. In the play, she plays five or six characters like everybody else; one of them is of a suicide seller. She runs a shop that sells suicides and counsels dithering people to go ahead and, when they are convinced, she offers them 50 different options to take their lives.

Richa Chadda

A wonderful actor, both on screen and stage. She has trained with Barry John and has worked in theatre. Richa’s role in Trivial Disasters, especially as a wife who is in a beauty parlour and receives a phone call from a man who has kidnapped her husband. She begins to negotiate with the kidnapper, offering him a higher ransom amount to torture the husband.


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