Don’t know if I’d go back to my old normal: Faezeh Jalali


By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi– Actor-director and theatre personality Faezeh Jalali says that the expecting things to go back to the old normal anytime soon seems like a far possibility, and speaks on why she wouldn’t like to venture into digital theatre as a creator.

Jalali will feature in Rajat Kapoor’s creative rendition of Shakespeare’s classic, titled ‘I Don’t Like It, As You Like It’ by Aadyam, which debuts its digital version from December 5 on Paytm Insider’s theatre platform.

Excerpts from an IANSlife chat with Faezeh Jalali:

What qualifies as good theatre for you?

Jalali: It’s kind of hard to categorise what’s good theater because there’s no way of knowing what is good to someone else. But to me, what I enjoy watching are performances that are energised, stories that are worth telling, and a way of presenting that is different, risky. The director’s choices, the script choices as well as super performances, everything comes together and you’re like, ‘oh my god, I wish I had done that play’. That kind of varies from person to person, because art is subjective.

Do you think the apprehension about returning to a closed space, further hurts theatre-watching in India? When do you expect it to return to the ‘old normal’?

Jalali: Returning to the old normal, I have no idea! I mean I feel this is a question for a fortune teller. I don’t know when to expect things to go back to the old normal. I don’t know if I’ll go back to my old normal.

About theatre watching, how many go to the theater in the first place. Now we have covid, so less people will go. Theatre is losing its audiences more and more for multiple reasons.

Over the months, do you think digital theatre has been accessible to all? Do you find a digital divide at play here?

Jalali: I think digital theatre has been accessible. It depends on what one means by accessible, there were people around the country who maybe don’t have access to mobile networks. To be honest, I haven’t accessed it as much. I don’t enjoy watching theatre digitally, I watched only a couple of things. Of course, there’s a digital divide, if people are going to do live performances on Zoom etc, the question now would be – Why wouldn’t I rather watch a show on Netflix? I don’t personally enjoy Zoom plays, digital is not engaging for me. That’s why I have not pursued it as a creator as well.

Please share a bit about your role in ‘I Don’t Like It As You Like It’.

Jalali: My character in ‘I Don’t Like It, As You Like It’ is Mimi, a clown who’s playing the character of Rosalind. She is quite fiesty, furious, fun and sometimes furious, and as the name suggests, it’s all about her, she’s a ‘Me-Me’ character. She wants the main character and wants everyone to think she’s the best.

I Don’t Like It As You Like It’ opens on Insider’s streaming platform on December 5, 12 and 13, tickets are available on Paytm Insider

Runtime: 106 minutes

Cast: Aadar Malik, Cyrus Sahukar, Faezeh Jalali, Joy Fernandes, Rytasha Rathore, Shruti Vyas and Vinay Pathak (IANS)


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