People need to take theatre more seriously: Manav Kaul

- April 21, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The Kai Po Che actor says that theatre needs to be done with dedication and seriousness

AUTHOR: Manav Kaul has authored books like Rooh, A Bird on My Windowsill, A Night in the Hills

Film actor and director Manav Kaul says that those who are joining theatre for the want of money are missing the essence of the field.

“One should make it clear that there is no money in theatre. This needs to be done with dedication and seriousness. If you are here for money, then you are missing the point of theatre,” he says.

Kaul was recently in Delhi’s Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts for his written and directed play Tumhare Baare Mein, which was staged at the auditorium.

With a perfect blend of humour and raw honesty, Tumhare Baare Mein takes you on a journey of self-discovery, understanding and relationships.

Kaul, who acted in films like Kai Po Che, CityLights and Saina, has been visiting the national capital for the last many years. 

“I come to Delhi with new plays for the audience. I also come to Delhi to meet a few of my friends whenever they call me,” he says, adding, “I love to eat all the types of food served in the city.”

DEBUT: Manav Kaul was first seen in the Bollywood film Jajantaram Mamantaram

About the scenario of theatres in Delhi, Kaul says that things have changed. 

“Earlier, it used to be two or three theatres in the city, now the number has increased which is a nice thing,” he says.

“During our time, Mumbai used to have the National Centre for Performing Arts and Prithvi Theatre only, now there are multiple options available. I feel today’s youth is very lucky and should get some benefit out of these theatres,” says Kaul who has written and directed plays like lhaam, Park and Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane.

The 47-year-old actor feels that there is freedom in theatre as compared to films or OTT. 

“You get to learn a lot in theatre as you have multiple takes (rehearsals) before coming to the stage. But for films or OTT, there is only one take in front of the camera and that take is very important for your career. People hardly take theatre seriously that’s why there is also a freedom in it,” he says.

He says that theatre can be beneficial for the long-term career of an artist. “It grooms and shapes you well. I am also the outcome of theatre,” says Manav who originally hails from Baramulla in J&K.  

Kaul praised the Delhi audience for their positive approach when watching a play. 

“The good thing I love about them is that you will find their mobile phones off when a play is going on. They are very genuine audience,” he says.

Kaul was first seen in the Bollywood film Jajantaram Mamantaram (2003) starring Javed Jaffrey. 

“That was an interesting film and when different people meet me, they ask me about that film. I was a kid then and I don’t know how I performed in the film,” he says. 

The actor who has donned various hats – actor, writer and director, says that he sees himself as a writer first. 

“In Mumbai, one hardly gets much time to write because of the busy work schedule. I then prefer to go to the mountains where I spend my time in silence and write,” says Kaul who has written books like Rooh, A Bird on My Windowsill, A Night in the Hills among others.

When asked about takers of theatres, he says people are still watching it. 

“Though there is a positive response from the people, theatre is not possible without the audience support,” he says.

He suggested that young artists should learn the basics of theatre before opting for a role. 

“Acting is nothing without doing theatre,” he added.