“As you binge watch your tenth series, read a book or sleep to music, remember that in the darkest days when everything stopped you turned to artists.” This message has been doing the rounds on social media for the last few weeks and naturally, despite the emotional blows of lockdown, artists stand unperturbed in their effort to entertain people.
In a new play that’s being touted as India’s first virtual play done live, a team of fantastic actors have come together to tell a fascinating story. Titled Lockdown Love, directed by Sheena Khalid and hosted by Roshan Abbas (who also doubles up as tech director), the play stars Shriya Pilgaonkar and Priyanshu Painyuli amongst others. The play is adapted from Jonathan Rand’s Check Please. It’s a modern day take on arranged romance in times of a pandemic. The show also stars Tanmay Danania, Ashwin Mushran, Kira Narayanan and the director Sheena herself.
Priyanshu, who is all set to make his international debut with Chris Hemsworth starrer Extraction this month, is on a roll.
“This was the first of its kind live play to be performed virtually for an audience on Zoom. There was a showcase done for some brands and online companies, to show them this new format of live play. ‘Lock down lovers’ is about love in these pandemic times. It is the story of a guy played by me and a girl played by Shriya, who go on different online dates with random weird people, till they accidentally log into a window where they meet each other and connect. It’s about in these difficult times also how sometimes one keeps looking and hoping to find love,” Priyanshu said.
“The idea is to make it live for the audience and do more shows with the help from video facilities to give people a new format of entertainment in these difficult times. Every actor performs from their respective houses even in rehearsals. The tech support and direction was done through zoom video chats. Tess Joseph did a fantastic casting on this one and I had a great time working on this. The first show was on April 12 and we are figuring out when to do the next one. We are hoping to do one every weekend.”