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Stage dreams

Television actor Nausheen Ali Sardar returns to theatre after three years with The Play Begins @ 8 pm.

Written by Rinky Kumar | Mumbai | Published: April 15, 2011 12:21:45 pm

Television actor Nausheen Ali Sardar returns to theatre after three years with The Play Begins @ 8 pm.

Telly actress Nausheen Ali Sardar was first seen on stage a decade ago in Rendezvous With Guess Who. But after she became a star overnight thanks to her girl-next-door act in Ekta Kapoor’s Kkusum,the actor started concentrating more on her daily show and went on to act only in two plays. But after making a comeback on the small screen with Imagine’s Beend Banoonga Ghodi Chadhunga,the former model thought of revisiting theatre with Delhi-based director Sachin Gupta’s new play The Play Begins @ 8 pm. The production,which premiered last week in Mumbai,revolves around two friends Sophia (Nausheen Ali Sardar) and Raymen (Siddharth Arya) and their views on theatre. While Sophia is passionate about stage- craft and wants to do it for the sheer love of it,Raymen is open to the idea of adding a commercial angle to theatre in order to make more money.

Sardar says that it was the love for the medium as well as a need to change her serious image that prompted her to take up the play. She adds,“My friends often complain that despite being chirpy in real life,I end up playing serious roles. So when I got an opportunity to play a character that is quite similar to my off-screen persona,I was glad.”

The effervescent actress admits that though she was initially apprehensive to take up the play due to date issues,she finally complied on the director’s insistence. She says,“I had just started shooting for Beend Banoonga Ghodi Chadhunga when Sachin approached me with the script. I was a little sceptical as I was wondering if I could manage the play along with my new show. But he convinced me. I could also relate to Sophia’s views. Despite Kkusum’s success,I never took on multiple projects as I believe in working on one project at a time and doing complete justice to it. One shouldn’t misuse performing arts only to make more money or be visible.”

Gupta,a software engineer,has directed 12 plays over the last eight years under the banner of Chilsag Chillies Theatre company. He reveals that his personal experiences inspired him to pen The Play Begins @ 8 pm. He says,“It’s my tribute to all theatre actors. Usually people have no qualms in shelling out Rs 500 on clothes or food but they think twice before spending Rs 100 to buy a ticket for a play.”

The Hindi play that uses a lot of humour also highlights some of the concerns faced by theatre artistes in the country. “It’s quite frustrating when despite repeated requests to people to switch off their cell- phones,they refuse to comply as they feel it’s just nautanki on stage. Everyone knows about William Shakespeare’s works that were penned just 400 years ago but ask them about the 2000-year-old Natyashastra and they are clueless. Rather than adapting international plays,we should focus more on staging original works,” says Gupta whose next venture is a musical comedy.

The Play Begins @ 8 pm premiered at Mumbai’s Ravindra Natya Mandir on April 10.

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