Akuri with thespians: The Kotwals


February 27, 2014

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What could be better than to start Monday morning with Akuri (just one more of the great contributions that the Parsis have bequeathed to India) with friends and noted theatre veterans — Mahabanoo and Kaizad Kotwal at their well–appointed home at Churchgate?

By Malavika Sangghvi | Mid Day


The Kotwals are one of the finest examples of how creative people can also contribute to meaningful dialogue. Their company Poor Box Productions was started in 1996 to offer audiences an alternative to meaningless theatre. It produced its first short film Below the Belt that won Best Experimental Film at the Oregon Film Festival and ventured into India with Willy Russell’s modern classic Shirley Valentine.

Since then, it has given Indian audiences some of their most memorable theatre experiences, including (W) Hole in the head with Naseeruddin Shah and, of course, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, which has acquired something of a cult following since 2007.

The mother-son duo are onto their next big production Emotional creature: The secret life of girls all over the world also written by Ensler. “It is a path-breaking and life-changing play. Using monologues, ensemble pieces, song and dance, it portrays a Chinese factory worker making Barbie dolls, a Kenyan girl who revolts against being thought of as property, a Congolese rape survivor to an Indian girl who finds the courage to stand apart amongst others,” says Kaizad who has been working in the arena of violence against women for over a decade.

“It’s choreographed by Longinus of Slumdog Millionaire fame and is a must–see for anyone who is a girl or knows one!” says Mahabanoo, who will be seen in the international film The Letters about Mother Teresa, and also as Saif Ali Khan’s mother in the upcoming Phantom. We congratulate the duo for what looks like another winner from their ouvre and also of course for the excellent Akuri.

“I think it’s a little dry,” says Mahabanoo. “I turned for a minute, and it got over cooked.”