It`s a relief to return to theatre: Saurabh Shukla

Mumbai: Actor-writer-director Saurabh Shukla, who presented his play `Red Hot` at the ongoing NSD theatre festival recently, says returning to the stage reminds him of his youth and romanticism.

Shukla began his acting career as a theatre artist and moved to cinema later but decided to make a comeback to stage after a gap of 18 years.

"I started my theatre journey from Delhi. I moved to Mumbai and kept myself busy with films but theatre never left me. Then last after 18 years of leaving theatre, I decided to make a comeback.

"For me theatre and film are two different things. Both have different satisfaction and problems. Theater reminds me of youth and there is some different romanticism in it, and erhaps this is what drives me back towards it," Shukla told TI.

Shukla, who recently wrapped up his directorial venture Pappu Can`t Dance Saala` with Neha Dhupia and Vinay Pathak, says he chose English play `The Red Hat Lovers` because its story has been very close to his heart.

"Returning to theater is a change and I am enjoying this relief. It really makes me happy and that is what keeps me going," he adds.

The actor feels that the non-commercialisation of theatre in India gives more creative freedom to artists.

"In India theater is not that much commercialized therefore it faces least economic lapses whereas films are always accompanied with huge risks. Thus theater gives me a different freedom and it is very very important for me to have that life," he says.

Shukla, whose writing credits include movies like `Satya`, `Raghu Romeo` and `Mithya` among many others, says he enjoys shuffling between acting-directing and writing.

"I never think that my acting over shadows my directing or writing. The important thing is what makes me happy.

Every role I play in a film is favorite to me. Presently, I am doing `Burfi` and it is my favourite role now."