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Shefali, Shah return to theatre

New Delhi: Bollywood filmmaker Vipul Shah and his actress wife Shefali return to their first love - theatre - with the Hindi version of critically acclaimed Marathi drama "Dhyanimani".

First showcased 15 years back, director Chandrakant Kulkarni`s "Dhyanimani" is a socio-psychological thriller and talks about the purpose of life and how reality is replaced by illusions.

Shah will produce "Dhyanimani" and Shefali will be the female lead in the play that will be staged from August 15 onwards.

While Shah is returning to theatre after more than 14 years, Shefali will face a live audience after 10 years.

"I know 14 years is a long time to be away from theatre. But I was always connected to it emotionally. Also in these 14 years, I did not get an opportunity or time to do something in this field. But I am glad that I am going to be associated with theatre again," Shah said in a statement.

"Dhyanimani" will mark the couple`s first theatre work together.

"Also, Shefali wanted to go back to theatre and I am glad that it is this play that marks both our come backs to what we love," added the filmmaker, who has produced and directed four plays before "Dhyanimani" and intends to be more active now.

Shah is thrilled about his wife`s comeback on stage.

"Shefali is the best actress in the country. I have seen her performance in Gujarati plays and I know for a fact that this play is the best for her comeback," he said.

The filmmaker also revealed he had offered Shefali a couple of plays before they got married, but her schedule did not permit her to take them up.

Explaining her long absence from stage, Shefali said: "I had started my acting career with theatre. Then TV happened, then movies, then marriage and then kids. And this is why theatre took a backseat for 10 years.

"Also in these 10 years nothing great came my way (in terms of theatre). But now I am ready to give my 100 percent to it and this is when Vipul and I thought that we should approach Chandrakant Kulkarni and ask him if he is interested in making a Hindi version of it."

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