Being at Ease

The last time I was on stage, I was eight years old. It was a play about a father and his son. I didn't understand what it meant to be on stage; what acting, characterisation or any of these terms meant. Now I can really enjoy the entire process and so it feels like my first time in theatre," says Swapnil Joshi of his thespian debut, Get Well Soon.

Joshi, a popular film and television actor who was last seen on Eka Lagnachi Dusri Goshta and Papad Pol Shahabuddin Rathod Ki Rangeen Duniya, is taking to the stage for the first time with the play, written by Prashant Dalvi and directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni. The play's title is central to the story, says Joshi. "The play is about every human being. There is a continuous fight within us, between the good and the bad, and there is always something pulling us in different directions. It could be something as simple as wanting to eat a burger even though it is unhealthy or something complex like relationships or morals," he says. Get Well Soon, according to Joshi, is what the play's protagonist says to people suffering from this conflict, including himself. There is a line in the play that defines 'disease' as simply not being at ease. This is the journey of a man who is at unease making the transition towards being at ease."

The experience of acting onstage has been completely different from what Joshi is used to, but he is happy with the response he has been getting, he says. "Of course, the audience is live and their reaction is instant. But more than that, in a film or in TV, you can't change your performance once it is released. But in theatre, every show can be different." In Marathi, he says, a theatre performance is called natkacha prayog, which translates to experiment. "Every show is an experiment; you can change your approach, your attitude, the nuances and each time the audience will react differently. It is experiencing the Friday release anxiety but before every show," he explains.

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