Arundhati Raja directs Hold The Mushrooms, a dramedy by debutant playwright Binoy Mohan
The play will be on stage over the weekend at Jagriti Theatre
Veteran theatre personality Arundhati Raja has been in the business for more than three decades now, and has directed almost 50 plays. Her latest directorial, Hold The Mushrooms, is a light-hearted family drama, written by debutant playwright Binoy Mohan. “My last few productions have been classic plays. Tried and tested scripts, written by well-established playwrights like Girish Karnad that have enriched my theatrical journey. However, directing a brand new contemporary and modern play has been exciting and invigorating,” Arundhati says. The play will be on stage over the weekend at Jagriti Theatre.
Hold The Mushrooms follows a close knit family of three. They are torn apart by events that seem to be irreversible — the daughter and the father lock horns over the boy she wants to marry. We get to see how they each deal with the consequences of these events. “The idea for Hold the Mushrooms originally came to me when I was musing about how even the most liberal of people can cling so dearly to their prejudices. The underlying theme of the play is what kind of coping mechanisms people resort to, especially when they don’t have anyone to speak to or are unwilling to acknowledge their source of sorrow and grief,” Binoy says. He adds how the characters are regular people which makes the play very likeable, and relatable to audiences. The play is driven by the banter and dialogues between the family members. Actors Jimmy Xavier, Paramita Gupta, Yamuna Kali and Vishnu Surendran will be essaying the lead roles.
This is the first time Binoy, who is a full-time entrepreneur, has ventured into writing. “I always had an interest in theatre, but I never thought of writing anything myself. I wanted to write a dramedy with a twist, and something that had an emotional aspect to it as well. I started with characters that were familiar to me. I pulled in references from how I am, or how my wife is. I wanted to write a story about a family and make it very contemporary,” he tells us.
Binoy admits that writing a script for the first time was challenging. “I had to rely only on the dialogues to convey everything. There are no narrators and no descriptors. But it was fun and I enjoyed the process thoroughly,” the writer adds. Arundhati sums up saying, “This production had been on hold for two years. Now that we are back, we are really looking at how we can support new writing and new performers.”
Rs 400. July 8 - 10. At Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield