Theatre feels like home: Actor Neena Gupta

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) : Actor Neena Gupta is back on stage after a decade-long hiatus with the play ‘Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’. After receiving rave reviews in the US and Mumbai, the play is to be staged in the capital on Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking to IANS, Gupta said that she felt at home with theatre though she has been away for a long time. “‘Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’ is a sort of my coming back to the theatre. I feel very much at home. It doesn’t feel like I was away from the scene for a long time. Director Rakesh Bedi got everything right,” said the actor.

Directed by Rakesh Bedi, the play is about two ex-lovers, Preetam Kumar Chopra (Anupam Kher) and Hema Roy (Neena Gupta) meeting after 35 long years, to discover the truth behind their separation.

“What is interesting about the play is that the director hasn’t made it very melancholic as the lovers are meeting after 35 years. It’s a pleasant play. There is laughter, agony, happiness, it’s a mix of all sort of emotions,” said Gupta, adding that many would vouched that they have experienced such twists in life. “A lot of people had told me that they could identify with the play as they have experienced it at some point in their life. Talking about me, I never had a chance like that,” she chuckled.

Delhi is more special to Gupta, who is an alumni of National School of Drama (NSD). “We are staging the play for the first time in Delhi and as an NSD alumni, the performance is going to be very special for me,” she said.

Elaborating about the play, the actor said that the Delhi audience could connect with the play more as its set in Lodhi Gardens, where the lead characters Preetam and Hema share their feelings. “The protagonists meet in Lodhi Gardens. They grew up together in the surroundings and the bye-lanes of Chandni Chowk. So, the Delhi audience will enjoy it more,” she quipped.

Talking about her co-actor Anupam Kher, she felt that he brings an element of discipline and commitment to the stage. “We have a perfect equation. Kher is a very disciplined and a committed actor on the stage,” she said adding that she was humbled by the response of the US audience. “We toured the US for more than a month with the play and the response was amazing. Every show was a packed house,” said Gupta.

The actor is also excited about her soon-to-be released movie ‘The Threshold’ where she plays the lead role. “The movie has already opened in the MAMI Mumbai festival and has gone to Goa International Film Festival,” she said.

However, what keeps her busy at the moment is her daughter Masaba’s marriage next week. “My daughter is getting married next week. That’s what keeps me busy at the moment,” Gupta signed off.

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