The play, which has a differently-abled hero as the saviour of humanity, is scripted by Venkataraman Balakrishnan, artistic director of Chennai-based Theatre Nisha, and directed by Amit Sharma, associate artistic director of Graeae Theatre Company.
The New Indian Express - "Passion at play: Avant-garde theatre in Chennai"
October 13, 2017
When we ask V Balakrishnan aka Bala about non-commercial theatre, he is quick to correct us, saying,
“I have never seen my theatre as non-commercial. Yes, I have refused to cater to the least common denominator, or to put up anything on stage I do not organically believe in, but I have at the same time never tried to be abstruse.”
At a time when literary and theatrical works reinterpret epics to connect to contemporary audiences, to stick to an original verse written in 1952 and present it without any adulteration requires courage. And, Theatre Nisha deserves a packed audience just for that.
"An actor's repertoire should consist of not merely the ability speak lines, but also their understanding of music, movement and dance through the body. This is done using breathing techniques, yoga and martial arts," says Balakrishnan.
"... Meera Sitaraman’s script has the potential to distil the emotional core of a seemingly-alien subject and make it relatable. And, that is an indication that a play has worked through the audience’s hearts and minds."
The Times of India (Bengaluru) - "Retelling the Queen's fight"
April 2, 2016
“The most important aspect of portraying Rani Lakshmi Bai is depicting the sheer physicality of the character. I had to develop the strength to hold a stance and to wield a sword. I trained with a martial arts expert. The physical routine was rigorous. But the fight sequences, especially those towards the end of the play, are worth all the training. And as we prepared and rehearsed, the play unfolded organically."
“We start the play with the Doctrine of Lapse being imposed on her kingdom. There’s a very famous line in history, where she is supposed to have said, ‘Meri Jhansi nahi dungi’ (I will not part with my Jhansi). For a woman of her stature, who had never been bold, to have said something like that, sets the tone for the next two years of her life.”
The Hindu MetroPlus - "Staging life on his own terms"
March 25, 2015
"I want theatre to create a feeling of communion, the way you connect with one another in a place of worship. Most importantly, I want to create work that stays with you for the rest of your lives; that will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Youth ki Awaaz - "Meet Bala, The Artist Who Brought Mature, Intelligible And Responsible Theatre To Chennai"
Aug 5, 2014
"We approached a sponsor to bring down Mallika Sarabhai for a show in Chennai. Within five minutes of our conversation they were in complete agreement of our proposal and asked us when Ms. Mallika Sherawat is arriving in town. Ridiculous"