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All posts by Swati Sani

Five on a Treasure Island

‘Five on a Treasure Island’ is the very first Famous Five adventure, written by the world famous English children’s writer, Enid Blyton, (Blyton’s books have been among the world’s best-sellers since the 1930s and have sold more than 600 million copies), featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There’s a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail – looking for clues – but they’re not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five; who will follow the clues and get to the treasure first?

It was staged on Saturday, 14th May, 2016 at NCPA Experimental Theatre, Nariman Point, Mumbai.

Featuring: Amol Wakhare, Khatija Chimthanawala, Raunak Madne, Shruti Bhojwani, Onkar Ghare, Anurag Kulkarni, Sonal Trivedi Malkan & Vikash Khurana

Directed by: Vikash Khurana

See the pictures here.

Gumnaam Hai Koi – A review


On the 18th of February, I had the pleasure of being witness to a true mystery thriller. What better medium than theatre, to unfold, in all its glory, an Agatha Christie suspense! Stagecraft Theatre’s Gumnaam Hai Koi, an adaptation, in Hindi, of ‘And Then There Were None’ had all my senses anchored to the taut intensity on the stage.
Before Gumnaam Hai Koi started, there was a short play by Stagecraft Adda, called ‘Disconnected’. I will say little about this, because I found it too beautiful for words. Beautiful in its quiet, painfull truthfulness. That feeling, when you love something so much that you can’t let go, you simply can’t, you’d rather die than let go…I have never seen it displayed on stage in such clarity. It left me sitting silently, staring ahead, shell-shocked by the blatant honesty of the play. Hats off to Bertha Cusso, for creating a script such as this.
Then, in that tense mood, started the play, Gumnaam Hai koi…
A seaside house on a cliff, the sound of waves lashing against the cliff walls…a house party…a motley, mysterious group of people, each with his own story and complex psychological layers…Oh, Agatha Christie allright!
As a reader, I have always steered clear of literature that comes under the genre of macabre. And yet, Agatha Christie, I am very fond of. I think that’s because, in her work, the primary is the lively psychological play. Her characters are fresh, and very interesting. And how the actors have brought the characters to life! Way over and above anything I could have imagined. There was that gripping tense, scariness, which is fun, in typical Agatha Christie style, and that’s possible to actualise on stage only via phenomenal performances such as I saw on the 18th.
The set had all those doors here and windows there, perfect for the murder story to slowly unfold. The eclectic, island house, coupled with the lighting and sound…I actually got the feeling that it’s a windswept, stormy, seashore landscape outside, while its warm, and very tense, agitated indoors. The sound of seagulls indicating a new morning, a spell of rain to diffuse the tension for a while…how brilliant is that!
There were scenes in candlelight, with only a part of the stage lit and the other in complete darkness. And as the actor, holding a candle, moves towards the other side, a murder is suddenly revealed!!
And the climax? Oh goodness. Scary. Scary as a true Agatha Christie villain. Music and lights are anxious, restless, as a master actor takes us through the twisted working of the murderer’s mind. The mystery unravels and the pieces of the puzzle come together.
The tension goes on building, to a full blown, brilliant psychological drama, and a then a sharp crack of a gun shot, and lights out! And there you are, still gripping you seat, the intensity and unexpectedness of the ending still washing over you. The amazement at such intricate mental complexity still washing over you.

Watch the photographs of the play

Inside the Act!

Why do I like to watch a play?

Because I love theatre. I love the way an intelligent, engaging script on fresh white sheets of paper is transformed into that moment when the actor is standing on stage and you can almost sense his adrenaline gush. And when, as an audience, you are right in the midst of the act, you feel that adrenaline gush too! Thats precisely why I found Stagecraft’s Dinner Theatre really cool.

There were the actors, with crisp, quickfire dialogues bouncing back and forth the room, and there was me, right within the action, sipping my cool butterbeer and laughing, not in the dark, but in the bright, sparkling restaurant room which itself was the stage. This experiment, of stage and audience merged together, created a pleasurable fluidity.

There were six short plays, written and directed by members of Stagecraft, and enacted by them at Cafe Zinea on 6th December. The scripts were fun, relevant and had the room laughing. Hats off to the actors who made it seem that keeping a straight face and remaining in character is the most natural thing to do, when the bursting with laughter spectator is sitting right next to them!

As always while watching a play, the enjoyment came from the brilliant implementation of an essentially good crux. That is, storyline, and script. In this case the scripts were concise, fitting with the light-hearted nature of the show. What I found amazing was how much the brief, carefully edited sets of dialogues managed to covey.

We were in a restaurant, where a father and a son realise, that it doesn’t make sense to assume that a father and a son can’t possibly double date, and actually tell each other what’s in their minds. We were in a room, where a girl wakes up after a night with a man she met at a wedding, to find his father sitting at a table. The father, instead of acting like an insensitive hypocrite, is calm and honest enough a person to warmly, gracefully talk to the girl. We were at a police station, where we are witness to a very interesting conversation between an understandably suspicious lady and a well meaning prisoner on parole.

This way, while I ate yummy sandwiches and fries, I was taken through hilarious and at the same time meaningful scenes and situations. It was one enlivened, high energy, laughter filled room, and I had a great time being a part of it!

– Khatija Chimthanwala

Enid Blyton’s The Naughtiest Girl in the School


‘The Naughtiest Girl in the School’ is the story of a spoilt and defiant girl Elizabeth Allen who gets furious when her parents decide to send her away to boarding-school. She makes up her mind to be thoroughly rude and disobedient, determined to be expelled by half-term. Despite her best efforts to hate everything, a series of incidents makes Elizabeth realize her folly and she begins to behave and enjoy life at the boarding-school. The unique nature of the school and its teachers and the engaging characters of Elizabeth and her friends will sweep the audience into a world that is at once cozy and unexpected.

Featuring: Arushi Thapar, Anviti Suri, Amol Wakhare, Hariti Shah, Gayatri Chanchani, Arindam Kanoria, Bianca Nazareth, Sonal Anand Trivedi, Gurnoor Bedi and Vikash Khurana

Directed by: Vikash Khurana

Shows: 3 shows were performed as follows. NCPA Experimental 10th May |Prithvi Theatre 12th and 13th May.


Horn OK Please



Horn OK Please is the story of a Mumbai luxury taxi tour operator, Raju, with two wives – one at home in Dombivili and another at home in Kalyan; two lives and a very precise schedule for juggling them both. Trouble brews when Raju meets with an accident and ends up in hospital, where both of his addresses surface, causing both the Dombivili and Thane police to investigate. This upsets his schedule and causes both wives to report him missing. Raju then becomes hopelessly entangled in his attempts to explain himself to his two wives and to two suspicious police officers.

Featuring: Anuj Hamilton, Ketaki Kane Salankar, Ayushi Upadhyay, Onkar Ghare, Leo Naidu, Pooja Shrivastava, Rachit Khetan, Gurnoor Bedi and Pranjala Chauhan

Directed by: Vikash Khurana

SUNDAY 1st FEBRUARY – 2 SHOWS – 5 & 8pm sharp

Entry by Donation: ₹700, 350, 250,150
Available at all Tauby’s outlets and at the venue on show days

Veronica’s Room

A chilling mystery thriller by the author of Rosemary’s Baby, Veronica’s Room, explores the thin line between fantasy and reality, madness and murder. A young couple find themselves lured to an old house by its caretakers to meet the sole surviving member of the family. They insist that the young girl bears a striking resemblance to the family member’s long-dead sister. They believe her presence will comfort the dementia-afflicted woman and allow her to die in peace. But what begins as a simple errand of mercy quickly spirals into a nightmare cycle of guilt, sacrifice and murder.

Praise for Ira Levin:

“Every novel Ira Levin has ever written is a marvel of plotting. He is the Swiss watchmaker of the suspense novel; in terms of plot, he makes what the rest of us do look like those five-dollar watches you can buy in the discount drugstores” – Stephen King
More info on Ira Levin


Bianca Nazareth-Arya
Nandan Majumdar
Cherag Bhagwagar
Sabrina Khan

Show Details:

On 6th and 7th December, 2014 at IMA’s JR Shaw Auditorium, North Ambhazari Road, Nagpur.


Write to us at

  • Soon to be a major motion picture!
  • Not recommended for children under 16 years of age.

Veronica's Room

Dekho Magar Pyar Se

Stagecraft Theatre known for its significant contribution to the local English Theatre Movement by not only by giving the city a taste of good theatre, but by providing a platform for amateur actors, has dabbled in Hindi theatre every once in a while, bringing out such gems like ‘Panchi Aise Aate Hain’ and ‘Bhaag Bhaag DK Bose’ in the past.

“Dekho Magar Pyar Se” is set in the office of an exclusive and reputable jewellery store, where its not so reputable owner is trying to secure the affections of his would be mistress by ‘selling’ her husband an expensive diamond necklace at a throwaway price. But the husband does a volte-face, by seizing the opportunity as a perfect occasion to gift the necklace to his own mistress!! From here on the complications multiply uproariously. Mistaken identities, suspicious wives, and a continuous barrage of rapid fire jokes, all become part of the hilarious doing, as the action of the play bubbles along merrily right up to the final curtain, when miraculously everything manages to work out as planned. Or does it?

Directed by N V Sharma

Lalit Khullar
Tauby Bhagwagar
N. V. Sharma
Sonal Trivedi
RJ Rocky
Shweta Bhangale-Badhe
Shantanu Thengdi
Shruti Tandon
Anamika Sawarkar
Raunak Madne
Priyanka Nalwale.

Sound Design    Priyadarsh Bhabda, Rachit Khetan
Light Design      Onkar Ghare, Nandan Majumdar
Design  Varun Vij
Production  Aryan Acharya
Stage Management  Anamika Sawarkar
Backstage  Sayli Rao, Sudeshna Chatterjee;
Creative Support  Anurag Kulkarni, Swati Sani
Technical Support  Sandeep Baraskar, Vishal Yadav;

Sponsors, Patrons & Partners for the play:  Nagpur Parsi Gymkhana, Godrej Anandam, Dinshaws, Mulani Family, The Hitavada, Radio Mirchi, UCN and Tauby’s.

The play received a fablous response. The review can be read here:

Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya, first published in 1897, is Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece on the frustrated longings and quiet trials of what may be called ordinary, “wasted” lives.  Though it is over a hundred years old, Uncle Vanya probes the central questions of human nature proving that these are timeless and universal and that Chekhov’s understanding of them is as acute as ever.

Stagecraft Theatre’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya is set in a tea estate in a remote mountain district in India’s north east. The play portrays the visit of an elderly professor and his glamorous, much younger second wife, Helen to the rural tea estate that supports their urban city lifestyle. Two friends, Ivan (Uncle Vanya), brother of the professor’s late first wife, who has long managed the estate, and Michael, the local doctor, both fall under Helen’s spell while they grapple with weariness and dissatisfaction with their existence.

Sonia, the professor’s daughter from his first marriage, who has worked with Ivan to keep the estate going, meanwhile suffers from the awareness of her own lack of ‘beauty’ and unrequited love for Michael. Matters come to a head when the professor announces his intention to sell the estate, Ivan and Sonia’s home and raison d’etre.

Based on the story Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov

Directed by Vikash Khurana

Vanya    Vikash Khurana
Michael  Varun Vij
Helen     Bianca Nazareth-Arya
Sonia     Gurnoor Bedi
Alex       Nandan Majumdar
Waffles   Anurag Kulkarni

Sound Design    Priyadarsh Bhabda
Light Design      Onkar Ghare

A Stagecraft Theatre’s (Nagpur) Production

Shows :

Mumbai : The Prithvi Theatre 12th and 13th May, 9 PM Sharp. Book your tickets

Update : The previous show was very well recieved. Read a review here


Sugar and Spice Round III


Stagecraft Adda serves as a forum for Stagecrafters to ideate and innovate. Right from writing for stage to acting, direction, design or lighting, Stagecraft Adda aims to supplement Stagecraft Theatre with a pool of talented individuals having already proved their mettle on stage. It aims to create a set-up where-in intriguing ideas can be developed by a team of established theatre persons and bright youngsters in collaboration and taken to the next level. Nurturing latent talents and exploring experimental theatre is what the Adda wishes to do, which would otherwise take a backseat in the hustle of setting up a mainstream production.

Every show of Stagecraft Adda involves talented directors presenting 10 minute plays written or adapted by someone within the group, presented with a cast of their own choice; each director, writer and actor adding their own flavour into the mix, bringing about a lovely concoction of “Sugar and Spice”.  After two successful editions, we present


Sugar and Spice Round III
on 3rd May, 2014
at Chitnavis Centre, Nagpur; 7.00 PM Sharp. 

The performances were a huge success. See the picutres here

A medley of 10 plays of 10 minutes each written by 10 writers and directed by 10 directors, presented by a team of talented actors. The plays are:

1) Aaj Jaane ki Zid na Karo
‘An estranged husband…. A wife who just won’t let go… But are things always what they seem to be?’

Writer – Nandan Majumdar
Director – Parizad Major
Cast: Bianca Nazareth Arya, Anuj Hamilton

2) Babul Mora
‘What happens when the fourth wall disappears, and the audience invades the stage? Who suffers when civic responsibility clashes with self-preservation? Watch this play within a play for the answers.’

Writers- Rahuldev Mukherjee / Arkdev Bhattacharya
Director- Ketaki Kane Salankar
Cast: Supantha Bhattacharyya, Nandan Majumdar, Aasim Sani

3) Jab Andhera Hota Hai
‘A dark, rainy night, a deserted bus-stop, a damsel in distress, a menacing stranger. Be afraid, be very very afraid!’

Writers- Rahuldev Mukherjee / Arkdev Bhattacharya
Director- Supantha Bhattacharyya
Cast: Sonal Trivedi, Shantanu Thengdi

4) Once Again
‘Mohan and Kaamini, eager to extend their online relationship to the next level, decide to meet, only to realise that the idea could be farfetched.’

Writer- Shweta Puranik Pendse
Director- Varun Vij
Cast: Anurag Kulkarni, Shweta Bhangale Badhe

5) Walnut Street
‘Wishes do come true you know but only when the night skies are busy. Michelle is frustrated with her husband when she chances upon an eerie encounter. Be careful what you wish for.’

Writer – Raveesh Jaiswal
Director- Aasim Sani
Cast: Mayuri Assudani, Jorris, Manali Kulkarni

6) The Cop and the Anthem
‘People generally try to stay out of a jail. But what if somebody wants to be locked up?’

Writer- O.Henry/ Adapted by Onkar Ghare
Director- Pranay Naidu
Cast: Rachit Singh, Atharva Moroney, Aryan Acharya, Vinay Pande, Snigdha Banerjee

7) Insanity
‘A state of extreme irrationality where the the incongruous past and the indefinitive future collide into the bloody present for Shirish and Swati.’

Writer- Aasim Sani
Director- Nandan Majumdar
Cast: RJ Rocky, Swati Sani

8) Kya sahi Kya galat
‘Every moment in our lives is a battle of right and wrong, good and evil! Which one wins, is something that is always a choice…’

Writer – Shweta Chaddha
Director – Shweta Bhangale Badhe
Cast: Vinay Pandey, Rachit Khetan

9) Hawai Sapne
‘The story of a man whose reality is restricted to a modest bicycle, but dreams are nestled in a private aircraft’

Writer – A.K Mishr/ Adapted by Shantanu Thengdi
Director- Swati Sani
Cast: Siddhant Verma, Ketaki Kane Salankar, Pranay Naidu, Arjun Kulkarni

10) Mere Papa ki Girl Friend.
‘Sunny Leone and wine Can make a man a swine, But with his wife is it fine? A story of thine and mine.’
Writer- Eshan Sarma
Director-N V Sarma
Cast: N V Sarma, Sunalini Sarma, Eshan Sarma.

The Wind in the Willows

Stagecraft Theatre, Nagpur brings the 1908 classic of children’s literature to the stage in its production of ‘The Wind in the Willows’. The play closely mirrors the book by Kenneth Grahame as it portrays the adventures of its five beloved animal characters – Rat, Mole, Toad, Otter and Badger. Interweaving dialogue, mime and music with Kenneth Grahame’s narrative, the play attempts to recreate this delightfully timeless, charming story for today’s audiences.

With the arrival of spring, the good-natured Mole flees his underground home and meets Ratty, a water rat who invites him to live with him in his home on the river bank. Mole becomes friends with Ratty, Otter, Badger and Toad. When the rich, jovial and somewhat conceited Toad wreaks havoc with his latest motor-car fad, the animals decide to teach him a lesson. Eventually, Toad’s home is taken over by weasels, stoats and ferrets from the Wild Wood and the five friends team up to drive away the intruders and reclaim Toad Hall.

Noted for its blend of morality, adventure and camaraderie, the story is as relatable today as it has ever been. The play offers a welcome respite from super-fast, hyper-connected, uber-technological city life and harks back to a time of leisure, wonder and wanderlust in simple pleasures and pastoral joie de vivre. Come absorb “the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight”.

NCPA Select at Summer Fiesta on 25th May, 2014.

Prithvi Theatre, Juhu on 28th and 29th June, 2014

Cast & Crew

Rat:  Onkar Ghare
Mole:  Amol Wakhare
Toad : Anamika Sawarkar
Otter : Sonal Trivedi
Badger:  Pramod Naidu
Narrator:  Vikash Khurana

Direction: Vikash Khurana
Adaptation: Ankita Athawale
Music : Anurag Kulkarni
Choreography: Sonal Trivedi
Light Design: Anurag Kulkarni
Sound Design: Priyadrash Bhabda

Buy your tickets for Mumbai Show:

 NCPA Summer Fiesta  Prithvi Theatre, Juhu

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