Namita Lal is passionate about theatre. The actor has done a number of plays. In fact she was a senior banker in Standard Chartered when she restarted her journey with theatre in Singapore.
“I did about 12 productions in Hindi Theater festivals “Dastak” in Singapore , Kala Ghoda Art Festival Mumbai and Oxford University London. Theatre is a wonderful training ground for actors. . We spend a lot of time on all aspects of the character including, building a full back story. It’s important because you appear on stage as the character in a specific moment in his / her life. There are no second takes and the audience has to instantly believe the actor as the character she is trying to play. “The experience is always very wonderful and satisfying,” says the actor, who has done plays such as Vagina Monologues , Lihaaf, Dance of the Birds, Ardh Satya, Mindless Whispers, Project Roop Kaur, Another Ticket to Bollywood, etc
The advent of OTT and the pandemic has heavily impacted theatre. There is a fear among many that the art form is at risk of losing its relevance.
Agreeing, Namita adds, “Yes, it’s really sad as theatre is one of the best and biggest of the creative industries. I was also rehearsing for a play “Junglee Booti “ during the pandemic in Singapore and ultimately it had to be filmed as there was another lockdown. Theatre is an industry of crazy passionate people who love being on and around a stage. Now that the situation is normalising, people will come back to the theatre. There is no such experience as of watching a good play being performed. I have seen a lot of plays and I love watching musicals. When I go to London and New York, I watch big productions, the latest being the classic Hamilton in Los Angeles. Every time I watch theatre, I want to be on stage.”
Namita’s favourite plays are William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar , Hamlet and Macbeth. She also liked The Black Widow, Death if a Salesman, Broken Mirror, Ismat Aapa ke naam
Veteran theatre actors like Ashish Vidhyarthi, Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher are still doing plays, but, according to some, most of the current actors have no interest in doing theatre.
Reacting, Namita adds, “Most of the current actors do not like theatres because it is something for which you must be passionate about. There is also not much money in it and the time invested in theatre is huge. Also, when you start doing any theatre production it will probably be something in which you will get totally immersed in and you will not have time for anything else. So, theatre is quite time consuming, much like any other medium. Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher, Nasir managed to balance both and hats off to them. I would love to be in that position where I do theatre to satisfy my soul and films and web as well to satisfy my passion of being in front of the camera.”