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Theatre treat begins this weekend.

MUSCAT: Here is some good news for theatre buffs in Oman. The fourth edition of the 'Original Theatre Festival' will begin on Thursday.

Brought to Oman by Eventful LLC, the festival is being organised in association with the Indian Embassy.

"The Theatre Festival has become a much sought after event in Oman. Unlike previous years, this time we are bringing plays from one production house, A.K. Various Productions, belonging to well known theatre personality, Akarsh Khurana," said Dr Sathish Nambiar of Eventful LLC.

For the earlier three editions, Eventful had brought plays from different production houses.

The festival will kick off on July 14 at the Indian Embassy auditorium with the play The Interview. Directed by Akarsh Khurana, the cast includes Prerna Chawla, Karan Pandit, Kashin Shetty and Tariq Vasudeva.

Due to popular demand, the play All About Women will be once again staged in Muscat on Friday. The play received rave reviews from the audiences when it was staged last year and hence, the decision to show it again.

Directed by Hidaayat Sami, the play has Ratnabali Bhattacharjee, Prerna Chawla, Tahira Nath, Shivani Tanksale in the lead roles.

July 16 will see the play Rafta Rafta directed by Tahira Nath and Akarsh Khurana. Abir Abrar, Kshitee Jog, Ahlam Khan, Faisal Rashid are the key actors.

The play What the Butler Saw with Preetika Chawla, Adhaar Khurana, Tahira Nath, Karan Pandit and others as the cast will be staged on July 17. It will be directed by Hussain Dalal and Hidaayat Sami.

The last of the five plays, Classic Milds will be staged on July 18 with Faisal Rashid, Hidaayat Sami, Shivani Tanksale and Lucky Vakharia as the cast. Akarsh Khurana, Tahira Nath, Hidaayat Sami have directed the play.

"Classic Milds is different

from other plays. It is an amalgamation of five different skits," Dr Nambiar said.

Emphasis on comedy

"Although Eventful promotes different genres of theatre, with the change in format this year, emphasis is now on comedy and 'feel good' theatre," he said. Dr Nambiar, who is passionate about theatre, said the primary intention of holding a theatre festival has been "to do something different".

The response to the plays each year has further encouraged his team to return with a bigger offering every year. They also have plans to step up the efforts in future.

"We are planning to have two festivals starting next year," he said.

Thanking the Indian ambassador, Dr Nambiar said, "This year, too, Anil Wadhwa has concurred to hold the project under his aegis and once again the effort would be a joint venture between the Embassy of India and Eventful. We are extremely grateful to him for his support."

Dr Nambiar also thanked the sponsors for their support. "Hats off to them for their vision in supporting theatre," he said.

The sponsors of the programme include National Bank of Oman (Presenter), Areej Vegetable Oils (Gold Sponsor), Al Omaniya Financial Services SAOG (Gold Sponsor), Al Turki Enterprises LLC (Gold Sponsor), Jindal Shadeed Enginnering LLC (Gold Sponsor), Ali Abdul Kareem Trading Co. (AATCO) (Silver Sponsor), Al Sulaimi Group (Silver Sponsor), Al Ahlia Insurance Co SAOG (Silver Sponsor), Majees Contracting Co LLC (Silver Sponsor), Oman Cables Industry SAOG (Silver Sponsor), Times of Oman (Media Sponsor), Muscat Printing Press (Print Sponsor) and Talents (Sound and Light Sponsor)

Logistics

Dr Nambiar admits that putting together the festival is always a Herculean task.

"The logistics of putting it together is mind blowing. Commuting, arranging the stage and other nitty-gritty's needs to be worked out," he said. But the love for theatre overcomes all the challenges.

"At Eventful, we believe theatre portrays the essence of acting. It is demanding on the performers and only those who have a passion for histrionics can emote to a level of popular acceptability. Theatre is the medium which extracts the best from actors and thus, for the enthusiasts, it becomes an audio-visual treat. Theatre has withstood the ravages of time and the advancement of technology.

It still retains the aesthetic charm of storytelling," Dr Nambiar says.

All the plays will start at 8pm.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2011

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Jul 10, 2011
Words:696
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