Lillete Dubey brings to stage Twinkle Khanna's Salaam, Noni Appa
More than 25 years on stage and 50 films in her kitty, yet actress and theatre personality Lillete Dubey says she continues to feel nervous before she walks on to the stage for a performance. “The day I stop having the sinking feeling in my stomach will be the day I stop doing theatre,” the Mumbai-based actress confesses. She now brings to the city Twinkle Khanna’s short story Salaam, Noni Appa, from her award-winning novel, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad.
Directed by Lillete, the 90-minute comedy is an inspiring tale of two sisters trying to piece together their lives, while one of them finds love in the autumn of her life. Apart from Lillete, the cast includes famous television and theatre artistes like Darshan Jariwalla, Jayati Bhatia, Meher Dar and Rishi Khurana and is written by actor-director Adhir Bhat.
Lillete, who enjoys taking up challenging work, says the reason she chose The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad is purely because she loves the book. “I hadn’t been following Twinkle’s columns or books. But when I came across it, it touched me,” she says. It’s the sense of humour and sensibilities in the book that made Lillete wonder why Salaam, Noni Appa can’t be adapted as a play. It’s after quite a long time that the 64-year-old actress is back with a rather simple story and everyday characters, fun and laughter. “It’s a script that I have been looking for – a sneak peek into the life of ordinary individuals who meditate over decisions they make to move from one phase to the next,” she shares, adding that the character she plays is close to her age, though not in terms of her behaviour, and is similar to what she portrayed in Monsoon Weddings, a 2001 comedy drama directed by Mira Nair. The narrative technique of the play is said to have the right dose of humour and is all about celebrating free-spirit and freedom of choice.
It’s not the first time that Lillete has brought a book-to-stage adaptation. One of her recent productions includes Bengaluru-based author, Vikram Sampath’s book, Gauhar Jaan!, which won the hearts of many in the theatre circuit. While most of her plays have been women-centric, she says it has never been a planned move. “Now, when I think about it, I realise that I was attracted to plays that were either written by a woman or had a woman protagonist. And why not? These are the stories that need to be told,” she adds. Having said this, the projects she is currently working on also have strong women leading them (two independent films – 3 Days To Go and Dirty Paki Lingerie, both directed by women). Apart from this, Lillete is also writing for her own feature film, which is yet to be finalised and has a few plays lined up, one of them (Jhootha Kahin Ka) featuring Rishi Kapoor.
Tickets: Rs.826. At RNR Auditorium, 5.30 pm.