On stage in Bengaluru: Erotica, a play that explores seduction and sensuality
When B Charles, a renowned theatre personality in Chennai first announced his new production Erotica, it caused quite a stir. “I kept receiving calls saying I would be jailed for spreading obscene content and that my social media accounts would be blocked,” says Charles, who has cura-ted the production. But the ticket sales told a different story entirely. They were completely sold out. The production tackled subjects such as sex, lust, sexuality and masturbation and seemed to resonate with the audience. Charles’ company, Chennai Art Theatre, brings the show to Bengaluru this weekend.
Erotica has four short plays strung together, all of which celebrate the sensuous and the sensual. “I wanted to explore the topic with no sanitisation, no censorship and no holding back, hence ‘erotica’,”he reveals. The production aims to tear away at our masks of morality and expose the desires that drive us.
The plays being staged range from mythological tales to contemporary Indian stories. Ekashrunga, from the Ramayana, is a story about a courtesan sent to seduce a hermit so a drought-filled land is blessed with rain. Director of this play, V Balakrishnan says, “Indian literature and the arts have a lot of eroticism in their themes. Bringing this to stage is very liberating.” Slick Dame, on the other hand, has a film-noir kind of setting. It toys with the power equation between a man and a woman. Erotica also explores the relation-ship between a gay couple through Stuff That Turned Me On by director Mathivannan Rajendran. In Behind Closed Doors, a woman explores her desires through self pleasure. The director of this play, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, tells us that the character’s self love is juxtaposed with the limits she is bound under as a woman living in India.
For days after the show’s premier in Chennai, Charles received calls asking when the next staging would be. And he expects Bengaluru to embrace the concept even more than Chennai did. “There is a young demographic of theatre goers in Bengaluru and I’m sure our production will appeal to them,” he signs off.
Rs. 300 upwards. July 7, 3.30 pm and 7 pm.
At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar