October 27, 2015

World-class performances to take centre stage at Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest

International talent to complement Indian counterparts

Mumbai: The 2015 edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, between October 29 and November 1, 2015, brings to you an invigorating line-up of exciting and culturally enriched performances from across the globe.

This year’s especially curated line-up boasts of eight productions, which promise to bring words alive on stage in the most evocative manner using dance, music and theatre. Taking place across two iconic venues, the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, and the Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, the performances by Canadian and British performers alongside masters-of-their-art from Manipur, Kolkata and Mumbai, are sure to delight the audiences at the sixth edition of one of the most awaited literature festivals in the country.

Schedule and highlights of the performances:

1. Schlock!: In the grand tradition of literary terrorism, Hannah Silva has ripped up her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and now, surrounded with the crumpled pages and with the help of radical punk-pirate Kathy Acker, she attempts to put the female body back together. Join them on a journey through texts and voices pregnant with pain and pleasure, mothers and babies, domination and submission. In a performance as strange as it is beautiful, we discover there are no safe words.

Schlock! premiered at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and is performed using British Sign Language, soundscapes and poetry. A feminist satire for the cut and paste generation, Schlock! is written and performed by Hannah Silva, a poet, playwright and performer known for her innovative explorations of form, voice and language in performance.

Duration: 50mins; Viewer discretion advised: 18+; Theatre group: The Penned in the Margins group

Date: Friday, October 30
Time: 5pm
Venue: Experimental Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)
Date: Saturday, November 1
Time: 9pm
Venue: Prithvi Theatre (Juhu)

2. Sea Sick: Canadian science journalist and author, Alanna Mitchell, will take us through her award winning non-fiction book (of the same name) about the state of the world’s oceans and how we are altering its chemistry. In this captivating solo performance, she uses science and her own delicate wit to tell us about her journey to the bottom of the ocean, the demons she discovered there, and her hope for the future. Part lecture, part performance, but wholly transformative, this play has been called ‘life changing’, ‘rivetting’ and even ‘thrilling’.

Duration: 75mins; Theatre group: The Theatre Centre

Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 9pm
Venue: Prithvi Theatre (Juhu)
Date: Sunday, November 1
Time: 5 pm
Venue: Experimental Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)

3. When It Rains: When the improbable happens, two couples are beset with misfortune, communication fractures, relationships crumble and behaviour becomes absurd. Comic, romantic and powerful, When It Rains is a play in the form of a live-action existential graphic novel. It is a darkly comic social satire, heartbreaking drama, and a visually arresting theatrical illusion, all at the same time!

An award-winning and internationally acclaimed production from one of Canada’s most heralded touring companies, When It Rains will be performed by Anthony Black (playwright / director), Francine Deschepper, Pierre Simpson and Samantha Wilson.

Duration: 75mins; Viewer discretion advised: 18+; Theatre group: 2b theatre company

Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 8pm
Venue: Tata Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)
Date: Sunday, November 1
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Prithvi Theatre (Juhu)

4. Storm Still: A perfect blend of literature, music and theatre, Storm Still is a reinterpretation of Peter Handke’s famous work, Immer Noch Sturm, a play about the Slovenian uprising against Hitler in 1945, where the past and the future collide in the present.

Created and performed by actor, Tanaji Dasgupta, and musician, Varun Kishore, this 70-minute Indian production is presented by the Kolkata unit of the Goethe-Institut and promises to take the audience through an immersive and brilliant experience.

Duration: 70mins

Date: Friday, October 30
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Godrej Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)
Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Prithvi Theatre (Juhu)

5. ILA: Inspired by Devdutt Pattnaik’s mythological story in The Pregnant King, Ila tells the story of a king who is cursed to spend half the month as a man and half as a woman. The play is set in the ladies compartment of a Mumbai local train, where the passengers share the story on their long journey home one evening.

Ila is a devised piece that looks at related myths and dilemmas, and the importance they play in our lives today. Surprising, startling, and yet told with simplicity and delicateness, the play will be performed mainly in Hindi, with English as well.

Duration: 70mins; Theatre group: The Patchworks Ensemble

Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Sunken Garden, NCPA (Nariman Point)

6. The River Runs Deep: Rhythm Divine II: Inspired by the work of Manipuri poet Saratchand Thiyam, this dance piece captures the soul of the North East with its heartbreaking juxtapositions of natural beauty and militant aggression, of lightning moves and glacial response, of the turbulence of politics and the calm pace of tradition. Using Pung drummers from Manipur, the legendary Astad Deboo and Manipuri martial art dancers create a work of delicate and lyrical beauty. 

Duration: 80mins; Theatre group: The Astad Deboo Dance Foundation

Date: Friday, October 30
Time: 8pm
Venue: Tata Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)

7. Blank Page: Blank Page is a celebration of contemporary Indian poetry through theatre, music and movement. Poems written in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Kashmiri by some of India’s finest contemporary poets are interpreted by a group of multitalented performers. Directed by Sunil Shanbag, Blank Page explores themes such as conflicted relationships, political resistance, identity, and the intense act of writing itself.

Duration: 55mins;Theatre group: Tamaasha Theatre

Date: Sunday, November 1
Time: 3.30pm
Venue: Little Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)

8. Comedy of Horrors: Using elements like vaudeville, puppetry, and mime, the evening features three stories from the masters of the horror literary genre Edgar Allen Poe and Ambrose Bierce. Starring theatre veterans Shiv Subrahmanym, Joy Fernandes, Denzil Smith and Jaimini Pathak, the evening directed by Vivaan Shah, uses the words of these great writers to give you goose bumps and giggles.

Specially commissioned for Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest2015, Comedy of Horrors is Vivaan Shah’s directorial debut for his father Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group, Motley. The three pieces that make-up the performance are: Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Man that was used up' and 'The System of Dr Tarr and Prof Fether', and Ambrose Bierce's 'Moxon's Master'.

Duration: 60mins; Theatre group: Motley

Date: Friday, October 29
Time: 5.00pm
Venue: Godrej Theatre, NCPA (Nariman Point)

One of India's most important literary festivals, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, is back to mark the city’s cultural calendar from October 29 to November 1, 2015. Over four days, the festival will take place at two venues – National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point (October 29 to November 1, 2015) and Prithvi Theatre, Juhu (October 31 and November 1) – bringing together an eclectic mix of authors from around the world.

For more details about Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, please visit:

Entry to the festival will be free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Tata group is the title sponsor of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest and Landmark is the book store partner.

The festival is conceived by Anil Dharker, the founder and director of Literature Live!, which organises the festival with the support of the Tata group.