Living Room (2015 play)
Living Room or The Living Room, is a 2015 Indian play written and directed by actress and playwright Kalki Koechlin, which premiered at Ranga Shankara Hall, Bangalore, in July 2015. The play that marked the directorial debut of Koechlin, stars Neil Bhoopalam and Sheeba Chaddha in lead roles with Jim Sarbh and Tariq Vasudeva playing supporting roles. The play opened to positive response from critics.
|Written by||Kalki Koechlin|
|Characters||Death, Mrs. Anna Nil, Grandson, Doctor|
|Place premiered||Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi|
|Setting||A living room|
The play opens with Death personified as a man (Neil Bhoopalam), standing in a living room nearby Mrs Anna Nil (Sheeba Chaddha), an elderly woman who is asleep, to wake up and discover that death is nearing her. Also present in her room are her Grandson, (Jim Sarbh), and a whiny and complaining Doctor (Tariq Vasudeva) who later transforms into a hub of the tale. The play follows conversations between the characters that carry humour and several underlying messages on life and death.
The play marked the directorial debut of actress and screenwriter Kalki Koechlin, who had previously written and acted in several stage productions in India. Development of the play began in 2014, when Koechlin wrote a four-page conversation between Death and an old woman who is in a strange surreal space, about to die but unwilling to exit the world. She further worked on the script of the play in 2015. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror she said, "Last year, when I was unemployed for six months, I started fleshing out the story. It turned into a comedy on life and death".
The play stars Neil Bhoopalam as the incarnation of Death, Sheeba Chaddha as the protagonist Mrs Anna Nil, an old woman who is on her deathbed and confronts Death. Jim Sarbh and Tariq Vasudeva play supporting roles of Nil's grandson and a doctor in the play. On the casting process Koechlin said, "There's no role for me. I can't play an old woman, can I? So I just went to my ideal cast and fortunately for me,[...] gave me the nod after a reading."
Koechlin shared the poster of Living Room on Twitter writing, "Here it is! The poster for our opening show! @bombayfilmfactory". The play screened at the Ranga Shankara Hall, Bangalore, on 24 July 2015. The play opened to international audiences at the Old World Theatre Festival with on 10 October 2015 it the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The play premiered at the opening of the theatre festival.
The play opened to positive reviews from the critics.
- Jayaraman, Gayatri (18 June 2015). "Resurrected in peace". India Today. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "Kalki Koechlin Wrote a Play, Inspired by Woody Allen's Sense of Humour". NDTV. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Bhattacharya, Roshmila (3 July 2015). "Kalki Koechlin's debut as a director on stage". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "Kalki Koechlin Marks Her Directorial Debut With 'The Living Room'". Yahoo! News. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Bhalla, Simran. "Kalki Koechlin directs her first play". Elle. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Ganesh, Dipa (31 July 2016). "When you have death as visitor". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "Kalki Koechlin's play 'The Living Room' to open Old World Theatre Festival in Delhi". CNN-News18. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.