Yesterday we had the honour of meeting Ramu Ramanathan, a Mumbai playwright and academic, to talk about the beginnings of the new Clerke and Joy project (very provisionally titled: the stillness of the storm that never came at all) that we are hoping to bring back to Thespo 16 next year. Loaded with huge and ambiguous questions, it began our series of meetings and research that we are starting this week before heading back to the UK on Monday.
It was much like talking to google.
We’ve never met anyone before with such articulate views and knowledge about the city and the people who live in it. Our brief introduction to the working of Indian theatre in Mumbai left us with the cogs in our brain ticking quickly and very excited about what we might be able to achieve here.
Besides this we talked about women, music, oral storytelling traditions and the performative nature of various religious devotional events. We talked about the man who delivers two eggs to Ramu every morning, without fail, and the language in Northern India where there are 107 words for tea; tea you drink when you are falling in love, tea in the morning, tea when the sun is shining directly into it… We talked about vanishing languages, cities that behave like cities and rap battles.
So this show, we’re not entirely sure where it’s heading yet but here are some ideas:
Bombay, Belfast and Beirut.
3 interchangeable performers, 3 parallel stories
Big visuals created live on stage
A real script
Dying Languages, Dying Oral Traditions
This week we’re hoping to meet with an Indian women’s group, visit the city’s abandoned textile mills, travel to Pune and Panchgani, to write in nice cafes and go to the cinema to see a Bollywood film. Perhaps if we have the time we’ll try and get in a Bollywood film. But we’re definitely going to make time to party with our friends. Who are ace by the way. They are teaching us how to swear in Hindi and we are showing them Father Ted so its a beneficial cultural exchange.
That will do for now.
Love Clerke and Joy.
Some notes from our meeting with Ramu