The Friday List: From a retrospective on plays with Manjula Padmanabhan to Netflix's The Dig, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.

FP Staff January 29, 2021 13:02:19 IST
The Friday List: From a retrospective on plays with Manjula Padmanabhan to Netflix's The Dig, your weekly calendar of virtual events

On this week's #FridayList: Netflix's The Dig, a retrospective on plays with Manjula Padmanabhan, a tour of The New York Aquarium and more. (Top left) Image via Atlas Obscura (Bottom right) via Wikimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic led us to rethink every aspect of our lives, including the kind of content we consume for entertainment and how we go about doing that. While picking up new hobbies at home and learning a new skill in our spare time became the latest trends, so too did virtual events and online discussions took precedence over going out in public spaces. The need to stay at home and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus thus made our leisure time a largely virtual experience. And even as we have now eased out of the most stringent of restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a dialogue with playwright Manjula Padmanabhan, a workshop on gond art and Netflix's upcoming film, The Dig.

— Poetry reading

An inventive take on the works of poets like Suryakant ‘Nirala’ Tripathi, Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Bhavani Prasad Mishra among others will be presented by the Music and Poetry Collective in a screening brought forth by the Royal Opera House, Mumbai. Founder of the collective, Chinmay Tripathi, and producer Joell Mukherjii will be performing the verses of these prolific artists to stylised rhythms in a bid to introduce younger audiences to poetry and literature. The band which has performed at several venues across the world will now be showcased on the opera house's virtual stage in what promises to be a rather interesting and engaging recital.

When: 30 January

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

— Workshop

Organised by Immersive Trails, the upcoming workshop, Heritage Documentation Workshop: Survey Methods and Ethics, is the place to be for those interested in learning the processes of primary research and data gathering involved in heritage mapping. This segment of the workshop series will focus on the various methods of doing research on urban tangible and intangible heritages along with a special focus on how to best use written resources, photos, paintings and maps to unravel the layers of urban society. Also part of the session will be a segment on the use of visual evidence to create a holistic understanding of the urban space and the ethical considerations involved in conducting research.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 30 January

In an upcoming workshop set up by the Rajasthan Studio, participants will learn the basics of the traditional gond art form which has been practised for generations together. Conducted by artist Anju Varma, the Gond Art Workshop will be an introductory class that shows the intricacies of this art form so often found on temple walls. The session will also shed light on how there remain only a handful of people who know and practice gond art and emphasise on the importance of keeping traditional artistry alive and thriving. Filled with designs that represent the rituals and customs practised by the gond community, the workshop is sure to be an insight into the cultural origins of the art form as well as a glimpse into the intricacies of colour and design used in its practice.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 28 January (3 pm)

— Talks and panel discussions

Playwright Manjula Padmanabhan will engage in a discussion on the retrospective of a play in a virtual session brought forth by Prakriti Foundation. Drama. Discourse. Dialogue. will comprise of the screening of an excerpt from the play Hidden Fires, directed by Pranav Patadiya and Points, directed by Satchit Puranik — works taken from Volume 2 of Padmanabhan's collection, Laughter and Blood. While in the former, a man talks about extinguishing lives providing his own justifications for it and a disillusioned understanding of society, the latter focuses on one woman's precise points about her idea of nationhood. Discussing the plays and the ideas which form the creative moorings of the characters and their actions will be the playwright herself, who will deconstruct the themes underlying her work. For fans of the theatre, this virtual screening and the discussion that will follow are definitely a can't miss.

To know more, visit Prakriti Foundation's Facebook

When: 30 January (7 pm)

Also read — A two-volume compendium collects three decades of Manjula Padmanabhan's plays, underscoring their timelessness, urgency

India and the Post Pandemic World Order is an upcoming session brought about by the Bangalore International Centre in which policy researchers will come together to discuss what it means for the country to negotiate societal and economic challenges at home while dealing with a changing world order. Takshashila Institution's Shambhavi Naik, United Nations diplomat, Raja Karthikeya, and public policy expert Ameya Ashok Naik will be in conversation with Deputy Director of Takshashila, Pranay Kotasthane, to map out how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed political and economic structures in the world leading to a reorganisation of capital, labour and supply chains. The speakers will shed light on how best policymakers can deal with these unprecedented changes and bring about a shift in our domestic and international relations. For those particularly drawn to policy and planning, this session is the place to be.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 29 January (6.30 pm)

A former lawyer at India's reputed firm Trilegal, Ajay Raghavan has now turned his attention to sustainability and climate change. With the newly set up Bangalore International Circle, the well-known employment lawyer's focus has been on analysing the reality of climate change and building more collaborative and sustainable futures. In the upcoming talk, Experience Fridays: Designing for Climate Change, Raghavan is set to share his ideas on design approaches, collaborative frameworks and empathy in formulating designs for a better future. Tune in to a talk which is sure to provide useful insights into the ideas of building and development in an environmentally conscious manner.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 29 January (5 pm)

The Friday List From a retrospective on plays with Manjula Padmanabhan to Netflixs The Dig your weekly calendar of virtual events

From a discussion with Manjula Padmanabhan on her plays to MUBI's Beginning and Atlas Obscura's virtual tour of the sharks at The New York Aquarium, a list of virtual engagements for this week. (Bottom left) Image via Atlas Obscura

Brought forth by Sipping Thoughts and Qween is the session, Getting Back to Work and Starting Your Career Late, a discussion especially designed for women who wish to enter the workforce after a long break. One of the key takeaways from the talk promises to be insights which will enable audiences to learn how to justify the gap years in the resume and things to keep in mind while rejoining the professional sphere. Also included in the discussion will be stories about women who have gone on to have successful careers following a sabbatical and some of their experiences which may act as crucial lessons for others. For women who wish to give their professions, vocations and careers a kickstart, this session is sure to act as that much-needed motivator.

To know more and register for the Zoom session, click here.

When: 29 January (4 pm)

— Virtual tour

Brought forth by Atlas Obscura is the virtual tour, Underwater Happy Hour with The New York Aquarium: SHARKS! which explores in a live session some of the aquatic life housed in the aquarium. The tour, conducted by experts, Stephanie Joseph and Ethan Angelica, will examine the role sharks play in our ecosystems starting with the aquarium's coral leaf tunnel along with the diversity of sharks and their adaptability which helps them survive in habitats across the world. Through the virtual session, participants can also understand the measures in place to protect sharks in the marine ecosystems and get their dose of all the selachomorpha trivia at the disposal of the expert tour guides.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 29 January

— Streaming this week

Arriving on Netflix this Friday is the film, The Dig, featuring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes in a story that revolves around an excavation undertaken by an amateur archaeologist on a widow's estate. Mulligan, who portrays the role of the mistress of this land, employs the archaeologist (Fiennes) to dig up what at first appears to be an ancient burial ground. The excavation however uncovers something far graver than dead bodies and reveals the remains of an entire ship buried underneath. With the clouds of World War II looming over the country and the widow's county, the excavation suddenly takes on a more sinister and ghastly turn bringing the researchers involved to a reckoning with their fate. What promises to be a highly engaging story, The Dig is definitely a must-watch this weekend.

When: 29 January

Where: Netflix

Coming up on Apple TV+ this weekend is Justin Timberlake's Palmer, a drama that explores an unlikely bond between a former football player and an outcast boy. After serving a 12-year sentence, when footballer Eddie Palmer is released from prison, he returns to his hometown to get his life back on track and encounters a kid whose mother has abandoned him. When the boy with his tastes and habits appears to be different from those his age and is bullied and made fun of for his 'oddities,' Palmer ends up looking after him even as he is coming to terms with his own demons. A heartwarming story of loss, longing and acceptance, Palmer is surely worth a watch.

When: 29 January

Where: Apple TV+

Georgian director Dea Kulumbegashvili's Beginning is a new feature film dropping on MUBI about a Jehovah's Witness community that is threatened by extremist forces in their provincial town. Caught in the middle of this conflict is Yana, the wife of the community leader of the town who finds herself entangled in this quagmire and watches her world slowly crumble around her. The film is a stirring portrayal of not only a conflict arising on religious grounds but also its consequences on a woman's secure personal world. As Yana battles the mounting tensions with the extremist group, so too she tackles the investigations of a detective intruding on her home. The debut of director Kulumbegashvili, Beginning uses the story of one woman to peel off layers of subversive power structures in a seemingly idyllic society.

When: 29 January

Where: MUBI

The second season of the popular comedy-drama, Metro Park is set to arrive on Eros Now this Friday, filled with episodes just as crazy and hilarious as its predecessor, if not more. Featuring Ranvir Shorey, Purab Joshi and Omi Vaidya in the lead among others, this season too will follow the story of a typical Gujarati household settled in New Jersey. This time around, the show will have Milind Soman and Gopal Dutt making special appearances accompanied by the quirks and eccentricities of the NRI family which make for a funny and heartwarming watch. For those looking for a light, cheery comedy to binge on during the weekend, Metro Park Season 2 is the one to catch.

When: 29 January

Where: Eros Now

Also read — Coronavirus Outbreak: A database of books, performances, courses available online in these times of social distancing

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