Indian theatre at par with the world: Mohan Agashe

Kolkata: Indian theatre is at par with world theatre in terms of quality, despite lacking in technical standards, says thespian Mohan Agashe.

"We might not be technically as advanced, but the quality of writers, the work they produce, is excellent. We are at par with any global form of theatre. The Marathi and Bengali theatre scenario especially is very good," Agashe said.

Known for critically acclaimed Marathi plays like ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’ by Vijay Tendulkar, and Hindi films like ‘Nishant’ and ‘Manthan’ by Shyam Benegal, Agashe was here to star in his first Hindi play ‘Adhe Adhure’ staged as part of the 12th Vodafone Odeon Theatre Festival.

As new forms of entertainment emerge each day, Agashe feels theatre artists now have "a competitive spirit".

"It adds to the competition and makes us work harder. Besides, people have many options in theatre. They can distinguish between good theatre and bad theatre," said the Sangeet Natak Akademi award recipient.

Doffing his hat to the `educated and discerning` Kolkata theatre goers, the Pune resident says: "Good theatre is one where the performance ends but the subject continues. It evokes thinking."

Working with youngsters in theatre, the 66-year-old finds it a learning experience.

"It is always fun to work with young talents. You learn to be accommodative. They are a `here and now` generation whereas we are `before and after`. They have short attention spans and therefore you need to keep pace with them," said the actor who is a practicing psychiatrist.

Highlighting the importance of theatre actors, the versatile artist feels they are an asset to the television industry.

"TV needs theatre actors as they are very economical," said Agashe.

Written by noted playwright Mohan Rakesh, the Sangeet Natak Akademi award-winning play ‘Adhe Adhure’ is directed by noted theatre actor Lillete Dubey and stars Ira Dubey, Rajeev Siddhartha, Anuschka Sawhney and Dubey herself.