One of India’s finest musicals is getting a revival. Bottoms Up, which was first staged in the early ’80s, is now ready for its latest staging on February 1 and 7, 2015. We were excited to learn what the musical has in store for us, so we got some answers from the show’s creator, Mr. Bharat Dabholkar himself:
BMS: The play broke all records when it was first staged during the ’80s. What is the idea behind reviving it now?
Bharat: Yes, it is true that the play broke all records when it was launched. But since then, nobody has ever done a topical musical revue like Bottoms Up. Lot of straightforward comedy has been staged, but without a take on all things going around us. So the revival was based on the idea as the new chapter in the series of Bottoms Up. I thought it was the right time as the audiences were asking for such kind of topical musical comedy.
BMS: The best thing about the play is its eclectic cast. Is it sometimes difficult to manage so much talent on one stage?
Bharat: No, not at all. It isn’t difficult to manage the talent, as the cast becomes one united group during the rehearsals, which makes it easier to manage them. They become a cohesive unit so it doesn’t matter if they excel in certain areas because they complement each other. Every actor knows the other actor’s line and it is more fun to work as a team.
BMS: The current staging is being pegged as the grand revival of the musical. Do you feel the play will find relevance in today’s times?
Bharat: The musical is all about the topics which are relevant today such as budget airlines, politicians, news anchors etc. So it certainly holds relevance in today’s time.
BMS: As you mentioned, the script takes pot-shots at literally everything under the sun – from politics to the education system. What was the whole motivation behind doing so?
Bharat: What inspired me to create the entire series of Bottoms Up was the fact that people love to laugh at the establishment. They feel helpless that they can’t actually do anything concrete about how things are currently. But if someone makes fun of institutions or political leaders and social topics, the audience will enjoy it. This never fails to work.
BMS: Bottoms Up is often referred to as the "Star Wars" of Indian Theatre. What according to you is the secret behind the show’s humongous success?
Bharat: The secret behind Bottoms Up’s success was that for the first time, “Hinglish” was used on the Indian stage. It was the first time we had doyens of Indian theatre from Gujrati and Marathi theatre like Viju Khote, Shobha Khote, Vihang Nayak, Tiku Talsania acting together. The audiences loved it because the language and certain nuances of the play were completely relatable. There was a certain amount of empathy with the script.
BMS: Can you tell the audience in a few words, what new awaits them at the latest staging?
Bharat: The new Bottoms Up is a grander, more opulent version than the earlier one because in addition to taking pot-shots at the establishment, the use of technology plays a big part this time. We have LED screen and lights reflective stage, which gives a feeling of grand extravaganza and it successfully combines humor and glamour.
So as you can see, Bharat Dabholkar guarantees a nuanced play with loads of laughter! Book your tickets NOW and enjoy the very best of Indian talent on stage.