Warm inviting hues, a casual and cosy ambience, great coffee and to perk it all up a generous dash of humour was what a select audience enjoyed on April 26 at The Grind Café, Al Manazel, Mankhool Road.

By Vijaya Sukumar (Contributor)

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Published: Thu 4 May 2006, 12:49 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:47 PM

Making a foray in the Dubai entertainment scene with the concept of Play Reading was popular RJ and theatre personality Gagan Mudgal.

Play Reading, a popular concept in London and Mumbai theatre circles, involves the reading of plays, poems or extracts from literature by artists informally seated amidst a small audience, instead of performing on a stage. The informal format does away with the hassles of reservation and tickets; people can just amble in for an evening of meaningful entertainment. Creating an intimate ambience it allows artists to enact great pieces of literature that have not been written in the format of a play, and would not normally be seen or heard.

Animesh Ghatak, Business Head of George V Hospitality and Entertainment, the group to which The Grind belongs says, "We thought of doing something which excites Dubai in the simplest of manner. It was whilst jamming with Gagan that the thought of hosting a Play Reading occurred. The Grind was primarily born as a living room café and as it had casual seating we thought of trying it out here. Our idea is to make this into a recurring art loving hub."

Staging a play involves a lot of rehearsals not to mention the big cost says Gagan. " I felt the coffee shop is a great idea. People can chill out with a coffee and listen to a play. Play reading can be done easily on a regular basis. Normally people would want to listen to a light play while relaxing with a cup of coffee. They wouldn't want to get in to deeper things and listen to a Tughlaq or a Girish Karnad. I usually select pieces that are very simple yet intense and deep. When you are doing a play it has to be written in a proper manner with a screenplay, dialogues, proper scenes and acts while for a Play Reading it can be anything — a poem, a paragraph or a play."

Gagan had selected four humorous Hindi satires written by Sharat Joshi for the evening. Two amateur theatre lovers, Rohit, an engineering student from BITS Pilani and Dr Shailesh, a gynaecologist, performed along with Gagan. With rib tickling humour, the plays, satires on politicians, culture and the system whet the appetite of everyone in the audience. Play Reading with its sheer simplicity of format and style is a form of entertainment that is here to stay. The Grind and Gagan have definitely got a winner on their hands!

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