Premiering in Bengaluru, the play Mumbai Terror Attacks, chronicles the story of the terrorist behind 26/11
Being a citizen of Mumbai for the past 10 years, actor and director Jeff Goldberg says the story of the 26/11 terror attacks is something that has become part of his life. “Everyone I know has a tale to tell about that day. As a storyteller, I always keep a sharp eye on what makes a great story and there was no doubt in my mind that the incident in 2008 was spell-binding,” he says. It’s the main conspirator, David Coleman Headley, that intrigued Jeff and compelled him to direct and act in the play Mumbai Terror Attacks, which premieres in Bengaluru this week.
Set inside an American federal prison, the solo performance by Jeff recounts the life of Headley. From growing up with an American father and a Pakistani mother, to planning the deadly attacks, Jeff, dressed in orange overalls and handcuffs, brings to life this dark character. He says, “David is one of the most complicated characters I have ever come across. He is a true charlatan and conman. He is someone with zero empathy.” He confesses that it was extremely difficult and challenging to portray him. The preparation for the play involved Jeff spending four years working on research, reading every newspaper article, book, and interview he could get his hands on. “I watched several films about Headley, 26/11 and Lashkar-e-Taiba. I even went as far as to meet Howard Leader, Headley’s real lawyer in New York City,” he reveals.“I am an actor who loves to take on impossible tasks to see where I wind up,” adds the director who has over 15 productions under his belt.
Up next, Jeff is working on a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which will premiere at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai in 2020. “As a director, I like to challenge everything, especially myself. I try to cut across genres and conventions. I guess there is a punk rocker in me trying to get out,” he signs off.
Rs. 300. October 17, 7.30 pm and October 18, 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm.
At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar