June 2016

The highlight of May has to be the many interactions with Sir Ian Mckellen. Well, to say I had 'interactions' might be pushing its definition a tad. But it was absolutely delightful and insightful to listen to the man share his views on theatre, film and LGBTQ issues with grace, humility and his characteristic sense of humour.

All the interviews, the speeches, the Q&A sessions I attended were full of quotable quotes by the legend. But the one that stayed with me was from his first conversation with Aamir Khan - "Shakespeare, like God, understands us all." Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's passing, there are countless productions and films reliving his works. Making it contemporary or clowning with it or grappling with the text in an attempt to stay true to the original. No matter what the approach, the characters, above all else, are the one thing that stay with us. I cannot claim to have read his works extensively, but his characters resonate in all kinds of stories. In the problems of inheritance in Thithi or the desire to fit in to the mainstream race in Pele. All one can do is stay true to ourselves and embrace who we are. 

This month we have three Shakespeare plays to look forward to in addition to folk tales and legends from Mahabharata and the Greek Myths. Of course, there is the next Aadyam premiere as well as stories set against the backdrop of riots in India. You do not want to miss the psychological thriller Veronica's Room, from Delhi and all the three Indian Ensemble plays from Bangalore! All that and more in Coming Up

This month's Great Texts Reading sees a return of Martin McDonagh, recommended by Shernaz Patel. Also to look forward to - Akarsh's "FOMO" worries; Dolly Thakore's perspective on the LGBTQ movement over the last 30 years; Manju Sampat's thoughts on Loretta; and our friend Daniele Bartolini's latest audience specific experiment that lasted 72 hours!

Do not forget to check out all the great Opportunities listed this month - Awards for playwrights, free talks and workshops, long terms courses, theatre jobs, and much more.

Happy Reading!

Toral.