Nandita Das, Mahesh Dattani at Old World Theatre Fest

New Delhi: A directorial theatre debut by film actor Nandita Das and a new play by stage veteran Mahesh Dattani mark the line up of one of the country`s oldest theatre festivals, which is in its 11th year now.

The 10-day Old World Theatre Festival, that kicks off here today, promises a platform to theatre groups ranging from collegiate drama to industry stalwarts across a range of genres and styles that include several debuts and premieres.

Nandita, who has essayed many roles in films across languages and genres and who moved base to Mumbai post her marriage in 2010 presents her theatre debut "Between the Lines," that goes on stage here on October 20. It is the final play of the festival.

The 105-minute production is about a lawyer couple whose relationship cracks begin to show up when they find themselves on opposite sides of a criminal case. The play stars Das and real life husband Subodh Maskara, for whom it is a debut in acting too.

"There is a premiere at the start of the festival and we have a debut towards the end . The idea is to bring to the fore happenings in the mainstream as well as in contemporary theatre," says Vidyun Singh who has curated the festival.

"Where did I Leave my Purdah?" the play written by Mahesh Dattani and directed by Lilette Dubey will kick-start the festival.

Lilette plays an 80-something actress who wants to revive yesteryear theatre star who is struggling to come to terms with modern realites.

Other plays in the offing are - "The Bureaucrat- A Comedy" by Anuvab Pal directed by Rahul da Cunha, "Nothing Like Lear", a devised performance based on Shakespeare`s King Lear directed by Rajat Kapoor, "Chinese Coffee" directed by Danish Husain, and "Konark" directed by Ramchandar Singh from Naya Theatre, the theatre company established in 1959 by the pathbreaking and legendary director Habib Tanvir.

On stage are an array of theatre stars that include among others Anu Menon, Soni Razdan, Bugs Bhargava Krishna, Atul Kumar, Danish Husain and Aamir Bashir Khan.


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