South Asian Theatre with Universal Appeal


In Conversation:State of the Arts – Utterly Butterly Fascinating

Comedian and writer Anuvab Pal brings in two stalwarts of the Indian theatre, film and the advertising world into our living rooms for an in-depth look at the future of performing arts in India.

Shernaz Patel is known to Indian movie lovers everywhere for her Award winning role as the mother of a deaf and dumb child in Black. Patel is the one of the stalwarts of English theatre in India. Over the last 35 years she has played leading roles in milestone plays like The Mirror Crack’d, Iron, The Siddhus of Upper Juhu, Love Letters, The Glass Menagerie, The God of Carnage, One On One and Class of 1984. She co-founded  one of Mumbai’s leading theatre groups, Rage and is the force behind some of their milestone initiatives – Writers’ Bloc, Unblock, 36 Ghante and Class Act. Other than Black, her work in film and TV includes Guzaarish (Screen Award winner for Best Supporting Actress), Rockstar, Lamha, O Maria (Goa State Award for Best Actress), Little Zizou, Love Wrinkle Free, Talaash, Bang, Baaja, Baraat and Tripling. Patel headed the acting department at Whistling Woods and is on the advisory board of The Drama School, Mumbai. Shernaz is currently the Artistic Director of Aditya Birla Group’s Theatre Initiative – Aadyam.

Rahul daCunha Utterly, Butterly Delicious! are the words that define him as an ad-man. daCunha inherited the Amul butter account when to he took over the ad firm daCunha Communications from his father Sylvester Da Cunha. The blue-haired, polka dotted dress wearing mascot of the much awarded Amul campaign has been punnily regaling us with comments on Indian and world events since 1966. Twenty- five of those years have been with Rahul. But Rahul has another equally famous persona – as a passionate theatre maker. Co-Founder of Rage, one of Mumbai’s best English language theatre companies, Rahul is a writer, director and producer. Class of ’84, Pune Highway and Me, Kash and Cruise are amongst his best-known works. His plays have traveled to the UK, USA, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Sri Lanka.

Anuvab Pal The New York Times calls him ‘India’s Most intelligent comedian’. The BBC calls him India’s answer to British wit. Anuvab has been seen on BBC2 as part of the BBC’s Big Asian Stand Up shows, recorded at the iconic Leeds City Varieties Hall. He also featured in this years BBC World Service The New Years Stand Up Comedy Special and made his debut on this seasons BBC2 QI. Anuvab is also a prolific writer. He was the screenwriter of the Bollywood films Loins Of Punjab Presents and The President Is Coming, and the author of 4 hit stage plays. 1 888 Dial India, The Bureaucrat, and Chaos Theory have become bestselling novels. His work has been featured internationally in Time Magazine, CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Vogue, Elle, The Economist, FT, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He writes a weekly column for The Economic Times and Times Of India.