NEWS ON THE COUCH

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNE COVER STORY -

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

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