Mumbai To Host 'Rise UP For Equality Women’s Festival' Next Week At The Royal Opera House; Here's all you need to know about plays 

Mumbai To Host 'Rise UP For Equality Women’s Festival' Next Week At The Royal Opera House; Here's all you need to know about plays 

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, The Create Foundation will showcase two plays at the Royal Opera House – Untitled and Bitter Chocolate starring the internationally-acclaimed actor Lushin Dubey

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, August 18, 2023, 03:53 PM IST
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A two-day theatre festival based on women empowerment and gender equality will be held at the Royal Opera House on August 24 and 25. The brainchild of eminent theatre personality Raell Padamsee, the festival titled Rise Up for Equality Women’s Festival will feature two plays, Untitled, and Bitter Chocolate.

Organised in collaboration with The Create Foundation, an NGO that works for kids who are physically and mentally challenged, Avid Learning And the Royal Opera House, the festival aims to make Maharashtra the safest state for women and children. The festival will use the power of theatre to strike up much-necessary conversations, inspire change and aims to empower civil society. The focus of the festival is to facilitate the creation of an equitable society. To that end, Padamsee has also associated with the Mumbai Police, Maharashtra Government and Judiciary in this initiative. “We are here to help the police and judiciary to, first, disseminate information that is already available; and secondly, in the implementation and amplification of the different schemes, laws, and facilities available, which address issues for the safety of children and women,” says Padamsee. 

From gender rights, diversity and parity to inclusivity, the festival seeks to be the platform for brave, inspiring women to tell their stories, recount their challenges and triumphs, and catalyse change. 

Directed by Arvind Gaur with music by Dr Sangeeta Gaur, both the plays in the festival will star the internationally applauded actor Lushin Dubey. Bitter Chocolate, a poignant solo piece portraying child sexual abuse in India and its impact on young minds, has done over 75 shows across India and abroad. Based on Pinki Virani’s best-seller of the same title, the play has Lushin showcasing different facets of child abuse through a series of cameos with her playing, by turn, the victim, perpetrator, parent, lawyer, activist, psychiatrist and police, in over ten staggering characters. 

Untitled, on the other hand, is a solo piece inspired by the eminent writer Vijaydan Detha’s Nyari Nyari Maryada and Nobel-Laureate Dari Fo’s Medea, with over 300 performances across the world. In the play, Lushin plays a Rajasthani queen who refuses to be an ornamental puppet in the scheme of things. She renegotiates her boundaries, breaks free from traditional shackles, and fashions her new, independent and emancipated identity. The actor masterfully portrays 12 characters in this play: women — embodied in her person and men – as puppets in her hands, with a fair deal of ventriloquism livening matters. The play alternates between Hindi and English, emphasising how time has remained unchanged for the most part for women, since ancient Greece of Dario Fo right up to 20th-century Rajasthan of Vijaydan Detha.

“Working with theatre, and the young & youth over the years, I have learned that theatre can bring about a systematic, sustainable change. We, at the Create Foundation, have always aimed to leverage this fact and empower them with the knowledge that they too can impact real change,” she adds. 

When: August 24, 25. At 7.30 pm

Where: Royal Opera House

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