HT Ludhiana Live

Lilette and Co bring much-feted play to town

- Swati Goel Sharma ludlivedes­k@hindustant­imes.com LUDHIANA:

It was a rare moment for the city, when the starstudde­d cast of the play August Osage County, a Lilette Dubey production, descended here on Saturday.

The impressive line up included theatre veterans and well-known film stars such as Kitu Gidwani, Meeta Vashisht, Suchitra Pillai, Amar Talwar, Denzil Smith, Maneesh Verma and Danny Sura.

Notably, August Osage County is a Pulitzer Prize winning American play by author Tracy Letts, written in 2007. Lillete’s version retains everything in the original play, including the dialogues and names (barring only a few), except the setting, which is Goa.

The three-hour long three-act play was staged in the city at Guru Nanak Dev auditorium on Saturday evening.

“The play is a dark comedy and revolves around a family that tries to cope up with life after its patriarch goes missing,” said Lillete, who plays the lead role, during an interactio­n with the media prior to the staging of the play. “I play a foulmouthe­d, drug-addict woman, who is suffering from mouth cancer. Her alcoholic husband, Leon, and she are in a constant tiff and one day he goes missing, following which the family secrets comes tumbling out of the closet,” elaborated Lilette.

Sharing that it was her sixth or seventh visit to the city, Lillete said she had enjoyed every time she has performed in the city.

Asked what made her take up the play for her production company Primetime Theatre, she said it was her daughter Neha’s suggestion.

“My daughter saw the play in London around three years ago and said I should definitely do it. I read the script and instantly loved it. It’s a play with a universal theme. I have not seen the original play, as I did not think it was necessary,” she said.

Kitu Gidwani, who has been associated with theatre for past 20 years now, laughed that she plays a role of an ‘aunty’ for the first time and didn’t thank Lillete for it.

“On a serious note, I loved playing the role, as it is intense and has several shades to it,” said Kitu, who started with tele- vision doing cult serials such as Swabhimaan and has done French theatre and films as well.

Asked if she might make a comeback on the small screen, Kitu waved away any possibilit­y.

“There is no room for intelligen­ce in today’s television. I cannot see myself a part of the ridiculous culture,” she said. Asked what she thought of contempora­ry Indian theatre, Kitu said she was happy that more money was flowing in, but everything from quality to conceptual­isation to infrastruc­ture needs a major overhaul.

Noted actor Meeta Vashisht, who is known for playing strong feminist roles said her character in August Osage County is totally different from the roles she has played in the past.

“I have been associated with a ‘ typical’ image, whereas I have played everything from portraying a docile woman to characters with shades of grey. But may be my roles stand out as I introduce certain discipline into it,” she said.

Suchitra Pillai shared that more than acting, it was music that was enjoying all her attention and time these days. Suchitra, who brought out an English-Hindi rock album last year titled ‘Such is Life’, shared that currently she was working on the next album.

 ?? JS GREWAL/HT ?? Lilette Dubey (centre) with the cast of the play August Osage County before the performanc­e in Ludhiana on Saturday.
JS GREWAL/HT Lilette Dubey (centre) with the cast of the play August Osage County before the performanc­e in Ludhiana on Saturday.
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