Classical dancers Preethi Bharadwaj and Priyanka Chandrashekar stage their realistic fictional play, Mad and J

The play unfurls various life events through the stories narrated by the characters, the trip to Mars is actually a very significant part of the larger story

Srushti Kulkarni Published :  25th March 2023 05:26 PM   |   Published :   |  25th March 2023 05:26 PM

Mad and J

Last year, when playwright Vedarun Rajkumar, inspired by real-life incidents, took up the challenge of writing a play within a week, a tale of two women conversing about traumatic relationships, dealing with loss, loneliness, freedom and self-esteemcame about. Multiple drafts and a few months later, the 75-minute English production, Mad and J, came to life and is now set to be staged by Preethi Bharadwaj and Priyanka Chandrashekar, who are the cast and directors of the play.

In a candid conversation, Preeti spills the tea on what theatre enthusiasts can expect. In collaboration with Dear Nirali, this play by Karpanai Kudhirai , a Bengaluru and Chennai-based theatre group, is a
realistic fictional play set inside a spaceship to Mars in a foreseeable future. Elaborating on the theme,
she says, “Mad (Madhu) and J’s journey to Mars, which is futuristic, is a metaphor for various elements
we have incorporated in the play. On their way, they talk about life experiences, which is something
all of us have gone through in life but in this play, we have dramatised those events.”

Preethi Bharadwaj, who is a well-known movement, voice and theatre artist based in Chennai, shared the script with Priyanka Chandrashekar, her long-time friend. The latter, who is also a professional
classical dancer and choreographer based in Bengaluru decided to come on board owing to the relatable life experiences that the play boasts. “We really wanted someone who understands why this script was written because the play has multiple entry points through multiple characters through multiple incidents that we narrate,” she reveals.

Although the play unfurls various life events through the stories narrated by the characters, the trip to Mars is actually a very significant part of the larger story. “When the audience watches this play, we want them to realise that they are not alone in whatever journey they are in because there’s at least one more person who is also going through something similar,” Preethi tells us. If you are wondering why the play is named
Mad and J that is because there is a story behind that too but it will only be unveiled on stage. Other than the aforementioned subjects, the production will also talk about women, their lives, choices and bodies and address patriarchy too.

“It is a big subject as to what feminism can be boxed as? The play questions the concept, agrees and disagrees with many factors surrounding it,” Preethi adds. The play br ings together artistes such as light technician Keerti Kumar while the costumes, which are a unique take on spacetravel-friendly apparel, are by designer Nikita Satish. Post their premiere in the city, the crew is soon planning to showcase the play in Chennai.

₹350. March 25 & 26. At Shoonya Centre for Art and Somatic Practices, Lal Bagh Main Road.