Actor Mukul Chadda, who is known for the web series Bicchoo Ka Khel (2020), and films like I, Me aur Main (2013) and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012), has been active on the Mumbai theatre circuit, working in over a dozen productions.
On World Theatre Day, Mukul speaks about the medium being affected during the lockdown and how OTT is helping theatre artists to have a narrative of their own.
Theatre was one of the sectors in the entertainment industry that bore the brunt during the pandemic. However, Mukul feels that it will bounce back with more vigour.
He says, “The medium is eager and keen for the pandemic to end. Live theatre has been one of the industries hurt badly in 2020, as performances in front of a live audience are its soul. I'm sure it will bounce back with more vigour once we're past this pandemic.”
Some of the popular theatre groups in Mumbai are those headed by veteran actors. Despite the obvious competition to stay afloat and relevant, Mukul finds the space welcoming and asserts that it’s your craft that matters.
He states, “I have always found the theatre world in Mumbai to be very welcoming and open to other groups and actors. Theatre involves a lot of teamwork, and those who love to do it, tend to imbibe that culture, and extend to others in the fraternity as well.”
“If you love doing theatre, keep at it, no matter where the venue is or how big the audience is. All that matters is working on your craft. Of course, it's important to get pertinent and relevant feedback, to improve on what you're doing. And as long as you get that, keep going,” he adds.
When asked how OTT has helped theatre artists come into the spotlight, Mukul says, “Often, there isn't enough room for characters other than the protagonists to have a narrative arc of their own in a feature film. Hopefully, that's changing on OTT platforms.”
He further adds, “I'm eternally grateful for the OTT revolution around us right now. It's changed the kind of content we are making, the length of stories we create, and has given opportunities to so many people who might not have got them otherwise.”
Mukul, who garnered rave reviews as Jagdeep Chadda on the Indian adaptation of the series The Office felt “absolutely wonderful” to essay the lead role based on David Brent from the British sitcom.
“Playing such a wonderfully flawed character is a delight for an actor. And in a comedy, it's a whole lot of fun, too! To say and do ridiculous things while believing wholly in them is hard, but also very satisfying, especially when people are laughing all around you,” says Mukul.
For those unversed Mukul is married to actress Rasika Dugal, known for the series Delhi Crime and Mirzapur.
The actor shares that when it comes to their work, they value each other’s opinions a lot.
“We certainly would love to hear the other person's feedback on the work we have done - we value each other's opinion a lot. But while preparing for our roles, we're both individualistic, and do our own homework independently,” concludes Mukul.