Watch Lockdown Love, a new online theatre performance that goes live on Zoom on April 17

Conceptualised by Roshan Abbas and directed by Sheena Khalid, Lockdown Love stars Shriya Pilgaonkar and Priyanshu Painyuli

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  16th April 2020 06:39 PM   |   Published :   |  16th April 2020 06:39 PM

A screen grab from the preview show

Theatre fans who are missing watching plays and live performances during this lockdown period are being treated to virtual performances online. International and Indian theatre companies, and other performing artistes are experimenting and trying to recreate a proscenium experience virtually for their audience. Mumbai-based companies, Geometry Encompass and Kommune, join this online movement with their debut show Lockdown Love, an online play.

Conceptualised by Roshan Abbas and directed by Sheena Khalid, Lockdown Love stars Shriya Pilgaonkar and Priyanshu Painyuli. The narrative is a modern take on arranged romance in the time of a pandemic outbreak. Through the 40-minute play the boy (Priyanshu) and the girl (Shriya) meet different kinds of people, on an online dating site, and all of these suitors come with their unique hang-ups. A comedy, the play looks at how during a period like these, people are meeting virtually to date and each of these meetings throws a surprise that the creators say is sure the crack up the audience.

Lockdown Lovers is a production under the initiative StayIN aLIVE by Roshan's company Kommune. Talking about the idea behind the initiative, he says, "Ever since the lockdown, we got panic calls from our artiste friends especially the younger ones who are constantly performing and are busy with shows. Suddenly, there was nothing for them to do. So we thought of StayIN aLIVE. We have to accept that there is a major shift in the way performances will be thought of and presented today. We have to opt for online shows and think virtually. Through our initiative we are trying to also help artistes to ideate, conceptualise and perform virtually."

Part of the revenue raised from the shows will be used to support artistes through Rashmi Dhanwani's Art X Company. Lockdown Lovers is the first project that goes on air on April 17 at 7 pm. The uniqueness of this online play is that audience can interact with the actors on the INSIDER app. They can download the app and give suggestions to the characters during the performance.

Roshan says this play is just the beginning, under their initiative they have many other events like quizzes and music concerts coming up. When asked if this will be the future of entertainment, he says, "We have been thrown into the deep end, and we as entertainers need to learn something new. There will be purists in the audience and those who are early adopters to this change. But as long as the content is entertaining, engaging and efficient, there will be an audience."

Rs 499. April 17, 7 pm. Streaming on Zoom