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The Festival Returns

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
By Deepa Gahlot

There is nothing like a festival to get the creativity on high and theatre groups coming together to give of ftheir best.

The annual Prithivi Theatre commences on November 3, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Prithviraj Kapoor, after whom the iconic Juhu theatre is named.

From being just a festival of plays, over a period of time, it has come to encompass other performing arts forms, and has a bunch of ancillary activities around the main event; the cafe wears a festive look, and the warmth that suffuses the city’s most-loved theatre space is to be experienced. The festival was started by Jennifer Kapoor in 1983, and, despite a couple of blank years, it has grown from strength to strength.

Some of the best groups create new works, and a few selections of good plays are performed as platform shows outside the theatre, or as fringe shows at Prithvi House across the lane.

There are other theatre festivals in the city (and country), but this one is a favourite with theatre groups-- a mark of the love and gratitude for all the support Prithvi has offered to the theatre community, right from its inception in 1978, built by Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer as a tribute to Prithviraj Kapoor, who worked with devotion on the stage for many years, with his repertory Prithvi Theatres. Subsequently, Sanjna Kapoor took over the running of the theatre and introduced many new initiatives, and for the last few years, Kunal Kapoor has taken over the reins and kept the excitement and innovation going.

This year, the festival opens with a performance by the popular Sufi singers, the Nooran Sisters, and has on its schedule, classical music performances, fusion dance, a Ramleela, and the Carnival at which actors perform short pieces. This is apart from the six new plays, platform and fringe performances and talks with theatre stalwarts. In short a total of 26 performances over 11 days is a real treat.

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