‘Excerpt from CAMERA OBSCURAS’ (in English) Written Designed & Directed by Vinay Sharma –
God switches on the TV to view a world that’s violently entertaining, dreadfully comic and deadly serious. A play upon our times, camera obscuras is like everything you’ve always seen.
Two comic performing faces reach a remote space where they begin ‘playing’ for each other. One decides to play God, the other takes on the role of TV.
In the course of their improvisations, they discover other faces as TV shows God the ‘real’ world. The stories they tell are malignant and violent. They affect the relationship between the performers and their belief in each other. The play looks at the illusion of god in the mind of man and the hallucination of man in the mind of god, at the place of chance, violence, performance, action and reaction in our lives. It queries what it means to be real, to be faithful, to be human.
It’s a comedy till it turns dark.
Vinay Sharma is a veteran actor, theatre director, writer, scenographer active in Calcutta theatre since 1981 and currently Artistic Director, Padatik.
He has received critical appreciation for leading roles under renowned directors Shyamanand Jalan, Usha Ganguli, Phyllis Bose, Ashoke Viswanathan & Anmol Vellani amongst others. His directorial works have toured India and abroad and featured at Bharangam and other major Indian theatre festivals, including ‘Atmakatha’, starring Kulbhushan Kharbanda at the 8th Theatre Olympics.
In 1995 he invited playwright GP Deshpande to collaborate on the play ‘antim din’ through a three-way experimental cross-creative process between playwright/director/actors, arguably for the first time in Indian theatre.
From 1987-2003 he co-created plays for children at Happy Hours- an institution exploring alternative approaches to education.
He is also known for his performance art in installations by the artist Chittrovanu Mazumdar.
Since 1991, he has written, designed and directed over twenty plays at Padatik including his originals – ‘ho sakta hai do aadmi do kursiyaan’, ‘camera obscuras’, ‘yahan’, ‘diversion slash just joking’ and ‘Dosh’- a play about the pernicious effects of “Obedience to Authority”
Since 2018 he has been performing the much acclaimed soloact ‘Mark Twain: Live in Bombay’ written by Canadian playwright Gabriel Emanuel.
As a writer, he was also shortlisted for the TLM New Writing Award 2006 and The Bridport Poetry Prize 2017.
Anubha Fatehpuria – an actor (since 1995) and a practicing architect (since 2001) – is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar 2013-14, The Telegraph SHE Awards 2019 and Shyamal Sen Smriti Puraskar 2007 for her theatre acting.
She has worked with directors like Habib Tanveer, Shyamanand Jalan, Usha Ganguli, Rajinder Nath, Alyque Padamsee, Wlodzimierz Staniewski (Poland), Suman Mukhopadhyay, Vinay Sharma, Vikarm Iyengar, John Britton (UK), Purva Naresh, Tulika Das – only to name some.
Anubha has received extensive theatre training from Late Shyamanand Jalan (2003-2010). She continues to learn the craft of acting and theatre-making under Vinay Sharma (actor, director, writer and scenographer) from 2006 onwards.
Anubha is an actor with Padatik Theatre Kolkata since 2002 and is currently Director-Programmes there.
She has acted on screen for directors like Seema Pahwa, Prasoon Pandey, Aparna Sen, Shoojit Sircar, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Atul Mongia, Laxman Utekar, Vijay Veeraml & Marcel Odenbach (Germany) again to name a few.
Over the years Anubha has been trained in – Fine Arts under artist Arup Das (1990-96); Hindustani Classical Vocal under Padmashree Late Smt. Girija Devi and Smt. Mitali Sengupta (1990-02); Bharatnayam under Sonal Mansingh (1986-88) and Smt. Thankamani Kutty & Smt. Uma Venkat (1988-96); Manipuri under Smt. Preeti Patel (1994-96); Workshop training in Kalaripayattu and Thang Ta.
As an architect – a recipient of the Nagpur University Gold Medal (2001) for Bachelors in Architecture, graduating from LAD and SRP College for Women (Nagpur), Anubha interned at Ar. Balkrishna V Doshi’s SANGATH (Ahmedabad) and after graduating she worked under Ar. Dulal Mukherjee (Kolkata) for a brief period of time till 2002. Practicing independently thereafter, Anubha was also an in-house consultant architect with a real estate firm in Kolkata from 2003 to 2011. She has been a visiting faculty for Design at the Architecture Dept. at Jadavpur University. Since 2011 she has been running her own design studio, now in association with Richa Bose – currently working on projects which include performing arts centres, residences, cafes, clinic/wellness centres among others – in various cities. Their design studio has received several recognitions for green practices.
Padatik, Kolkata is a premier theatre organization in the field of theatre since its establishment in 1972.
It was founded by late Shyamanand Jalan – doyen of Hindi Theatre in India and a pioneer of Hindi theatre in Kolkata since 1949 – a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1972), he served as a member of the Governing Body of Indian Council Of Cultural Relations and was also Vice-Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi from 1999-2004. Shymanand Jalan’s seminal theatre work includes Indian and Western Classics like Evam Indrajit, Sakharam Binder, Shakuntala, Janta Ke Shatru, Adhe Ahure and Lahron ke Rajhans to just name a few.