Challenges in abundance but nothing beats the best of solo acts: theater artists

From Naseeruddin Shah’s Einstein to Shabana Azmi’s Broken images , solo acts are flourishing in the contemporary theater scene. A solo act or show of a person presents a single actor playing multiple characters. We speak with some artists to understand the pros and cons of solo acts and what an attractive performance entails. NIS16

If you make a mistake, there is no one else who can rescue you

Shabana Azmi, who plays a best-selling author, Manjula, in Broken images , a solo act written by the late director Alyque Padamsee, says: “When you work with co-actors and make a mistake, your co-actors cover you. However, in Broken images , The other actor is a fixed frame on a TV screen. I knew she wasn't coming to rescue me. I just had to depend on myself while maintaining the technically sound act and retaining its emotional core. ”

People are not used to this format, although they accept it in comedies

Actress, singer and writer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi recently performed in her autobiographical work. Drama queen , a solo act that analyzes the emotionally turbulent years of his life and takes place five years after his divorce from filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. She says: “In an individual exhibition, you put yourself alone in the line of fire and fire all the weapons on your own. It's something like Formula One against the car rally. And he adds: One of the biggest challenges of solo acts is to attract the public. People are not used to this single actor format on stage, although they accept it in the stand-up comedy. In addition, the actor has to have enough confidence to achieve it.


For a theater fan, there is no greater height than a live performance

Minissha Lamba, who debuted at the theater last year with a solo performance about sibling rivalry, titled Mirror Mirror, He says: The biggest challenge with solo acts is that you don't have another actor on stage to recover energy. The stage is a large space and you have to make the magic happen, or everything falls apart. The best part of solo acting is that there is more room for improvisation, as long as you forget a line, he adds.


Suchitra says that attracting the attention of the audience is very challenging. “A whole cast makes it much easier. The pressure is not on you and one can feed on the energies of other actors. Ultimately, the public has to connect emotionally not only with the material but also with the actor. Theater is resurfacing as a commercially viable form of entertainment, although it is certainly not as lucrative as cinema, television or web programs. But as any hardcore theater fan will tell you, there is no better effect than a live performance, ”adds Suchitra.

Directing the public on my own is a great experience

Lubna Salim, who plays Amina Jootawala, a young and ambitious woman who is blinded by love, her friend Deepa, her shauhar - Majid Jootawala, a penny saas and her fitness fan, Bahu, among other characters in her last solo act. Gudamba He tells us: “The joy of sending an audience on my own and seeing if they flow or not flow with me is a great experience. The public is my last kasauti.

“A solo performance takes me to another world. It is beautiful to do it without problems, without problems or without looking at the other actor ki oh yeh yahan pahuncha nahi, or did not take the light or took the wrong signal. As a solo interpreter, you don't have to worry about all this. But, if you don't have enough confidence, merge udd sakta hai aap ka, ”he adds.

Veterans go alone

Naseeruddin Shah performs only on the 74-minute long play, Einstein Anupam Kher, in the autobiographical Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai He traces his own journey of how an ordinary young man from a Kashmiri Pandit family in the small town of Shimla made it great in life. Another widely held individual exhibition is Saag meat , directed and performed by Seema Pahwa, in which he continues to sauté, stir and sprinkle spices on saag meat while talking about his domestic help. In due time, she reveals a history of abuse. In the end, the audience can dig in the meat that the actress cooked on stage.

The individual show of Pankaj Kapur Dopehri it's a dramatic reading of his novel Dopehri , which deals with the loneliness that Amma Bi, a 60-year-old aristocratic woman in Lucknow, faces, and how she changes her life after welcoming a young tenant, a woman from her maayka Jaunpur. The National Award-winning actor gently gets into the skin of each of the characters in this 90-minute solo performance. The actor plays both the narrator and several characters, including the aristocratic old woman, her maid, a retired homeopathic doctor, a mysterious tenant and more. Another name synonymous with solo performances is the winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Maya Krishna Rao Award, whose popular acts include Khol Do, a deep fried jam, heads are destined to walk, The Non-Stop Feel Good Show, Ravanama & Walk .