articles by Phalguni Rao

Life

A Few Good Men: Nadir Khan brings Aaron Sorkin's iconic legal drama to the Indian stage

A Few Good Men, directed by Nadir Khan and starring Rajit Kapur, Ira Dubey and Neil Bhoopalam, will be staged at the fifth edition of Aadyam. Khan says that Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is relevant in the Indian context because of the themes it embodies — honour, formality, and blindly following orders

Life

Remembering Girish Karnad: Quasar Thakore-Padamsee, Abhishek Majumdar on how the playwright influenced their craft

Quasar Thakore-Padamsee and Abhishek Majumdar fondly remember Girish Karnad as a landmark figure in Indian theatre.

Life

Girish Karnad and his democratic art: KM Chaitanya recounts experience of making a film on the playwright

Girish Karnad was filmed twice by director KM Chaitanya for his documentaries on the artiste in Kannada and English. Chaitanya remembers the actor-playwright as a genius with a nose for healthy debate and dissent.

Life

Mrs and Marx: A new play delves into the domestic life of the ‘The Father of Communism’ and his relationship with his wife

In their play Mrs and Marx, artistes Satchit Puranik and Michaela Talwar wanted to demystify and humanise Karl Marx. As part of their prep, they read the letters the couple wrote to each other, which speak of their deep love for one another, and discussions on ways to make ends meet

Politics

Ambedkar Jayanti: Current politics of polarisation, hero worship could have disappointed Constitution's architect

For Ambedkar, the constitutional pillars of liberty, equality and fraternity could operate only in a trinity and could not be divorced from each other.

India

'Democratic ethos being eroded' under BJP: Theatre artists on why they signed letter asking people to vote against divisive politics

More than 600 theatre personalities, including Amol Palekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad and Usha Ganguli, have signed a letter asking people to "vote BJP and its allies" out of power, arguing that the idea of India and its constitution are under threat.

Life

Censorship in Indian theatre: Colonial era law, 'offended' mobs clamp down on thespians' freedom of expression

Previously, censor boards and a colonial law posed a threat to Indian theatre. Today, playwrights are equally concerned about censorious mobs, who follow no rules or logic

Life

In 'Surpanakha', Kathak dancer Ashavari Majumdar looks at Ravana's sister through a feminist lens

Ashavari Majumdar's Surpanakha draws on different versions of the Hindu epic and is divided into three parts, which explore the character's relationships with Ravana, Rama and Sita

Life

Jyoti Dogra on her play The Black Hole, drawing connections between life and science on stage

Playwright Jyoti Dogra's latest performance piece uses the blackhole as a metaphor to mean human life — the line of difference between who is dead and who is alive

Life

The Mousetrap comes to Mumbai: Director, cast on staging Agatha Christie's 66-year-old whodunit

Agatha Christie had predicted that the play's run would be eight weeks long. Almost six decades later, The Mousetrap continues to be staged across the world

India

After Supreme Court verdict on Section 377, LGBTQ community members, activists gear up for next challenge

India will remember the morning of 6 September, 2018 for a long time to come, when at 11.30 am, in a matter of half an hour, the Supreme Court decriminalised consensual intercourse between persons of the same sex and read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

Life

Mumbai, past and present: An architect's study of the city through aerial photographs, rare guide books

Robert D Stephens takes aerial photographs of Mumbai, with the intent to provide a macro view of the city and appreciate its beauty

Life

French Curiosity Club: A group that organises meet-ups for women to learn and collaborate comes to Mumbai

The French Curiosity Club organises a 'girls night out' where women can meet and collaborate with other women who are successful in different fields

Politics

Karnataka election: A look at JD(S)-Congress-BJP equation when state had a hung Assembly in 2004

With less than a week to go before the crucial Karnataka Assembly polls on 12 May, opinion polls have indicated that the results are likely to throw up a hung Assembly — third such instance in the state's history if it takes place,

Life

Her Letters, a play based on a short story by Tagore, explores themes of domesticity, love between women

Her Letters is set in a modern context but draws from Hindu rituals practised in Bengal and includes Rabindrasangeet too

Life

Mark Twain in Bombay: Playwright Gabriel Emanuel on bringing to life the writer's visit to the island city

In the play Mark Twain: Live in Bombay!, viewers get a glimpse of what the writer said and experienced when he visited the city in 1896 | #FirstCulture

Life

On Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky's dramatic brilliance, and how the ballet's portrayal of love is still relevant

Swan Lake was recently performed by the Royal Russian Ballet in Mumbai. It continues to remain relevant because it explores themes related to love, and the conflict between good and evil | #FirstCulture

Life

Theatre Olympics 2018: American actor Ronald Rand talks about his play Let It Be Art!, how he prepares for the role

American actor Ronald Rand speaks to Firstpost about how he transforms into a character, and the role that theatre must play in today's world | #FirstCulture

Life

Meet the Padwoman of rural Madhya Pradesh, who's championing menstrual hygiene

Maya Vishwakarma from Madhya Pradesh's Narsinghpur district is working towards making affordable pads, teaching women to use them, and creating employment opportunities in the process | #FirstCulture

Life

The Sound of Music director Advait Hazarat on why the musical remains popular even today

ACE Productions' 'The Sound of Music' director Advait Hazarat talks about how the singing is the most important aspect of the musical, and the challenges of staging it | #FirstCulture