Vintage Variety – Parsi Theatre
A reminder of the heyday of Parsi theatre, which is said to have heralded the modern theatre in India.
LAUGHTER in the House: 20th Century Parsi Theatre is a much required documentation of a theatre that was once a sparkling combination of wit, flippancy and parody but is now all but dead. The book written by Meher Marfatia and having photographs by Sooni Taraporevala, offers full-fledged nostalgia for all those who flocked to watch this cultural phenomenon that was referred to as Parsi nataks (plays) or just nataks. This theatre was so popular about 25 years ago that it had an audience that reached beyond the Parsi community. Special plays would always be put up on festival occasions but audience demand through the year kept playwrights, song writers and actors busy through the year.
Laughter is a serious effort at preserving, passing on and making Parsi theatre available to those who missed its heyday.
The book is a good substitute for those who never had the good fortune to be “evicted” after a performance to the trademark strains of Adi Marzban’s closing song in which he gently pokes fun at life, society and all human frailties.
Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney