There’s been a plethora of genres of theatre doing the rounds over the years. Going beyond that of experimental theatre is one called “immersive theatre”. I was highly intrigued when Tushar Dalvi, Founder and Director of Rangaai Theatre Company approached me to promote his upcoming show, The Darkroom 2.0. How could I not – he refuses to reveal the venue for this staging, saying it’s an absolute secret!
Welcome to the world of immersive theatre, in which the idea is to give power and a heightened sensory experience to the audience. The Darkroom 2.0 is an immersive journey that has audience travel through a massive space while not just seeing classic stories being performed but experiencing them with multiple senses.
The entire experience begins with blindfolding the audience members before they enter the hall. They are greeted by characters from story, who whisper in their ears. It is said scents can recall memories and so the audience is exposed to certain scents distinctive to each story.
The performances are authentic pieces from across the ages – Ismat Chugtai, Manto, Sadat Hussain, Munshi Premchand, et al – through which the audience will sense, smell, hear, touch and react to nerve-shattering incidents from the darkest corners of our society. Four classic stories are unfolded in unique manner. To add to it is the thrill of uncertainty, of void which is filled with experiences that linger on for long. The Darkroom Project in its 2.0 version has become an engaging theatre performance that provokes, but not weakens, the sensibility of the audience.
‘The impact of such a theatre experience,’says Dalvi, ‘Would be that we instill courage in our audience and our society, to accept the present situation, to analyse and to fight back that which proves to be a conflict’. They will, with the cast, experience the shivers, comedy, and anxiety of being caught in a “do-or-die”situation. The Darkroom 2.0 will be an emotional and psychologically moving ride for audience as we push them into action.
For a long time in 2016, The Darkroom Project (TDP) did the rounds of Mumbai and Pune, delivering fantastic shows of storytelling in an experimental and intimate manner. The Rangaai team self-admittedly outdid itself to create an intimate performance in “black box spaces, evolving in technique and style with every show. With Theatre of Cruelty, Dastaan Goi, Shadow Play, Puppetry, Live Music in a RED Photosensitive Dark Performance Space and more such, audience imagination was gripped strong.
So who goes for these performances? ‘Our audiences come from varied fields and they become a crucial part of our immersive theatre project,’Dalvi says. They decide the fate of the characters from the stories, they speak to the characters, go through the agony of the characters and bring in a resort. They contribute to the show with their energy and enthusiasm. Moreover, it is from them that our story immerses. We treat them with the best immersive theatre experience.
As for the venue, all I’ve been told is that it’s a beautiful villa turn into a magnificent art space in Goregaon. It’s rustic and designer aura with indoor and outdoor spaces, is perfect for The Darkroom 2.0 immersive theatre experience.
Well then, go for it and get immersed!
Date and Time: Saturday, 4 February; 7 – 9 pm
Venue: Goregaon (You will be informed about the pick-up point and then guided to the performance venue)
Tickets available on in.bookmyshow.com