NEWS ON THE COUCH
Ameya Wagh, 28, actor and Nipun Dharmadhikari, 28, director
Within weeks of its first episode, Marathi web show Casting Couch with Amey and Nipun clocked over a million views, catapulting protagonists actor Amey Wagh and theatre director Nipun Dharmadhikari to instant digital fame. “It’s what we call a mockumentary. It actually has scripted content but also a lot of impromptu touches,” says Wagh. The bi-monthly show, now in its fourth episode, is a celebrity chat show but smartly packaged as an impromptu comedy gig. “It’s an exaggerated version of our real life professions,” says Wagh, a popular theatre, television and film actor who was seen in the hugely popular Marathi sitcom Dil Dosti Duniyadari. The show debuted in April with Radhika Apte and then went on to bring the lead couple and director of Sairat on an episode which got seven lakh views within hours.
STEPS TO THE STAGE It was at the BMCC that both Wagh and Dharmadhikari honed their onstage skills with experimental theatre groups such as Samanvay and Aasakta. “Pune always had a rich culture of Marathi theatre so my parents would take me to watch plays, and that’s how I got interested,” says Dharmadhikari who collaborated with noted classical singer Rahul Deshpande to revive sangeet natak with recorded musical tracks and VFX backdrops and animation that brought the youth back into the auditorium. If Dharmadhikari chose to be behind-the-scenes, Wagh is a popular face on the stage and the screen. His Geli Ekvees
Varsha became the first Indian play to win the Universo Eatro Theatre Festival in Italy in 2012. “It showed me the power of theatre; that it can go beyond language,” he says. The versatile actor has done a handful of films, English theatre the popular sitcom Dil Dosti Duniyadari and is now basking in the fame of their new web show.
SEE THEM ON Bharatiya Digital Party on Youtube
Amey Wagh (left) and Nipun Dharmadhikari