Published On : Fri, May 16th, 2014

Young stage artists set to show their best in “The Wind in the Willows”

IMG_8114Nagpur News.

They are young breed of performers with loads of passion to display their arts in the mesmerizing characters. The stage which till now has been dubbed as the forte of method actors has lately attracted the city amateurs, yet the purely talented crowd of fresh and flowing people. And joining the pack is as young as a class 10th student to a group of folks pursuing their engineering courses. Amidst their routine chores, these guys squeeze out time to set their act right on stage.

Rehearsing for the classic play Wind in the Willows – the stage adaptation of the 1908 classic of children’s literature penned by Kenneth Grahame in the same name, the bunch of young stage artists get candid with Nagpur Today ahead of their show. The play will be staged at Chitnavis Centre in Civil Lines here on May 17 and 18 at 7 pm sharp. The presentation will be followed by the reruns at Experimental Theatre, NCPA at Nariman Point in Mumbai on May 25 and the big ticket run at prestigious Prithvi theatre in Juhu, Mumbai on June 28 and 29.

Vikash Khurana

Vikash Khurana

Directed by city’s avid theatre enthusiast and founder of Stagecraft Theatre, Vikash Khurana, The Wind and the Willows, the stage adaptation of classic literature shares the intriguing tale of five characters – Rat, Mole, Toad, Otter and Badger.  The play offers a welcome respite from super-fast, hyper-connected, uber-technological city life and harks back to a time of leisure, wonder and wanderlust in simple pleasures and pastoral joie de vivre.

Amol Wakhare, the youngest in the team is playing Mole. Amol says, “While my other friends play and indulge in gaming, I am cool with the stage.” Amol has just finished his class 10th examinations and considers theatre as his passion. When asked what his parents have to say about his passion, he quipped, “This is my fourth play with Stagecraft and by this time my parents know how passionate I am about performing in theatre.”

Onkar Ghare is also in his teens and appeared confident to play Rat. He said, “My character of Rat is somewhat friendly and shares special affinity with Mole.” Onkar has also tried his hands previously in few plays with Stagecraft.

Playing Toad, which is the central character of the play, is Anamika Sawarkar who is pursuing engineering and shares his striking equation with the Stagecraft. Anamika had performed in more than half a dozen play with this group earlier. Elated to churn out his best in the part of Toad, she described the character of toad as self centric and more inclined towards having fun ‘his way’! Anamika landed in Stagecraft, after one of the members judged a personality contest which was won by her. She mentioned, that Stagecraft brings out the best in her, and so do their mentor and director, Vikash Khurana. She believes that staging this one would be a great challenge as they would have to match the standards of this storyline, which is antique and epic.

Coming to the Otter, Sonal Trivedi is the oldest with Stagecraft, among the artists of WITW team. She is playing ‘the sensible one’!  She shares a special relation with Stagecraft, having travelled her journey as a choreographer and then actor. A lecturer by profession, young and vivacious Sonal said though choreography remains her forte, she loved to experiment with her acting skills on stage. Apart from acting in this play, Sonal has also choreographed it.

Matching his expression to pull out the best in him, Pramod Naidu aka Badger bears a perfect stage artist look with his styled beard. He says, “Badger is a kind of trouble shooter for Toad when things started going awry for him. He along with his friends plays the vital role in pulling the Toad out of the problems.”

The narration goes like this – the good-natured Mole flees his underground home and meets Ratty, a water rat who invites him to live with him in his home on the river bank. Mole becomes friends with Ratty, Otter, Badger and Toad. When the rich, jovial and somewhat conceited Toad wreaks havoc with his latest motor-car fad, the animals decide to teach him a lesson. Eventually, Toad’s home is taken over by weasels, stoats and ferrets from the Wild Wood and the five friends team up to drive away the intruders and reclaim Toad Hall.

As the team is all set to perform in Prithvi theatre, Juhu, they all look cheered and thrilled to have them act at this prestigious venue on June 28 and 29. “It is like a dream come true for us to perform at Prithivi Theatre. We are anxiously looking forward for the big day,” echoed the team.

The Wind in the Willows will be staged at Chitnavis Centre, Nagpur on May 17th and 18th at 7 PM Sharp.


All set to ‘Unwind’ on stage…