Everyone knows Naseeruddin Shah as a patron of theatre and the performing arts. Theatre in Mumbai is synonymous with this legend, and if you are a theatre lover in this city, there’s no way you haven’t watched him on stage yet. Praises of the actor are echoed in the halls of Prithvi – the hub of theatre in Mumbai – and it is there that you can watch him at a close range, as his monologues leave you breathless. Waiting for Naseer is a play by Studio Tamaasha, which celebrates Naseer, his works, as well as theatre in general. Whether Naseer has seen this or not, as a theatre lover, you mustn’t miss this one!
Waiting for Naseer is primarily a two-actor play. Jaimini Pathak and Sukant Goel are waiting at Prithvi Theatre to watch the famous Naseeruddin Shah perform. The two have a lot in common. They were actors when alive, they share in-depth knowledge about theatre, and both have really strong reasons for meeting Naseer. But they have only one ticket and must decide amongst themselves who will be its lucky recipient. They try various ways to come upon a fair decision. Everything from trivia on Naseeruddin Shah to a full-blown fight come to take place, but neither emerge victorious. Throughout the play, a lot is learnt about the life of the two actors, and even about theatre in general. The play ends on a bittersweet note, as the winner takes it all.
Studio Tamaasha has been consistently delivering an amazing showcase of plays and events, but Waiting for Naseer is probably the best one we have seen so far. Actors Jaimini Pathak and Sukant Goel share amazing camaraderie, and have been superbly directed by Sapan Saran, who also takes the credit for writing the play. The audience first walks in expecting some kind of ‘Waiting for Godot’-like drama (a Beckett play Naseeruddin Shah once starred in), but this play has not one dull moment. From their introduction, to their backstories, the two actors clearly seem to enjoy what they are doing. Debtosh Darjee adds a dose of innocence to this crazy duo. For lovers of comedy, there’s plenty of laughter guaranteed.
Besides sharing great chemistry, Pathak and Goel stand out in their performances. Each movement, every gesture seems well-thought out and real. It’s hard to pick one out of the two, as one’s performance complemented the other. If one was good, the other would get better – resulting in one brilliant performance overall. A scene that stood out was undoubtedly when the two quiz each other about Naseer’s life and plays. The competition gets intense and the audience gets louder, as the actors leave you in splits. As a whole, the play is well-written, well-performed, and thoroughly entertaining.
Waiting for Naseer stages every month at Studio Tamaasha. To know about the happenings at Tamaasha, check the BookMyShow page here. If you haven’t watched it yet, do not miss this play the next time it takes place. It’s a treat for the theatre lovers, and of course, Naseer fans!