March 1, 2010

Staging a comeback! - Konkona Sensharma

Konkona Sensharma, who has visited Chennai at least four times before this, says that it reminds her of Kolkata
Not getting a subject she loved kept Konkona Sensharma away from theatre for a good four years. But last year, when her friend Atul Kumar approached her for ‘The Blue Mug', a play based on neurologist and author Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, she finally broke that self-imposed sabbatical.

After last year's showing in Bengaluru, Konkona was initially unsure whether she would make it for this year's all-India tour. But call it luck or her love for theatre, Konkona has set aside time for ‘The Blue Mug' to perform not only in the country, but also abroad. The tour, which began in Mumbai, proceeds to Hyderabad and Chennai , and moves on to Pune and Kolkata before wrapping up the domestic circuit in Chandigarh, Delhi, and lastly Bengaluru. Internationally, the play will be staged in Dubai, Muscat and in 13 cities in the U.S. 

Konkona may be elated with the response to her play that also stars Ranvir Sheorey, Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and Sheeba Chaddha, but clearly does not want to go overboard with her happiness. Ask her about the response to her first play in years, and she says: “I did not get any bad response,” before hesitatingly adding: “Well, actually, I got only favourable reactions from whoever watched the play. I hope that means it is good; or possibly, they were being polite!” she laughs. 

‘The Blue Mug' is a play, based in present day, about memories. The four actors struggle to construct themselves on the basis of what they remember, bringing up all those moments, both significant and irrelevant, which they salvage from the abyss of their mind. While Rajat and Sheeba are part of a mainly abstract act that involves remembering and recollecting, Ranvir and Konkona present three vignettes in which she plays a neurologist and he, her patient Juginder Singh Chauhan. Juginder has a severe memory loss problem in which he cannot remember anything beyond the year 1983. 

Says Konkona: “When we started staging the play last year, the characters themselves created the story. But now, the script is largely locked. In fact, Ranvir and my portions are mainly very conventional text, while the other actors have a bit of abstractness in theirs.” 

In love with Chennai
The actor, who has visited Chennai at least four times before this, says that it reminds her of her native Kolkata. “I always feel that it is a big, small city! I was here for a long time during the shoot of “Mr and Mrs Iyer”, and I love the place. I love to shop here and, above all, I love to go to Amethyst and lounge around the cafe. I absolutely adore food in Chennai, and also like being with the people,” says an enthusiastic Konkona. 

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