Share with us your journey into the world of theatre?
Meherzad: It started at the tender age of 4 when I was tricked into going onto stage as Mogli in a jungle book adaptation in just my briefs, horrific experience, but nothing beats going up on stage, it’s a world where nobody can tell you what to do once the curtain goes up… you’re on your own.
How did Silly Point Production come into existence? Introduce the founding members?
Meherzad: Our school, St. Marys School is famous for its dramatics. The rivalry amongst the four houses is fierce and intense. But talent was in abundance. Once we left school we realized that what worked was not the drama but the unity we had as a group of students from that one school.
So we all got together – imagine that – students of different batches from the same school united to come up on the professional stage. Meherzad Patel, Hardik Parikh, Sajeel Parakh, Afshad Kelawala, Ameen Kazerouni, Danesh Irani, Mihir Mehra, Afshad Kelawala, Nihar Vakil, Karan Jhaveri, Danesh Khambata, Shiv Arora, Danesh Razvi, Siddharth Merchant, Siddharth Bhammar, Neville Dadina … the list goes on … these are all students from one school who have come under the SiLLy PoiNt banner to perform on the professional stage from the time we started out in 2008 to now.
What genres of plays do you like performing?
Meherzad: Comedy works at all levels. Intensity works best on screen or your television because the beauty of detailing which bring drama to life is difficult to show on stage.
Our strength is comedy because our audience relates to it, the youth is on our side, we bring them in … they come to laugh … we oblige happily.
Your play the Class Act was the high point of your theatre journey; can you tell us how it came about?
Meherzad: Honestly we did not expect the response. The first show we were convinced it would flop. But the audiences were literally rolling off their seats. I wrote the play to bring out a message of religious intolerance, which is so prominent in our country. The characters were people whom I conceptualized through real life, through the actors playing the roles. Each actor contributed to the play. They added their own jokes, own mannerisms, suggested costumes. And as a director I allowed that actor input because I was on stage myself, so I realized the comfort level required to portray such eccentric characters. The play has evolved with time. The jokes have been made more relevant with each passing year… we add something new to every single show.
Media has the power to reach out to people and influence perception. On those lines do you feel that forms of art which includes Theatre should also have a social message?
Meherzad: Most definitely! It is pointless doing farcical comedy. Slapstick humour is good but there needs to be an underlying message attached to the performance. Something that makes you think once you leave the theatre.
Silly Point Production organized a theatre festival in NCPA, how was the experience?
Meherzad: This was our second year organizing our theatre festival GET SILLY. It showcases all our plays together over a week and is more of a treat to the audiences. A lot of them come for all the plays… it’s a brilliant experience and works best at NCPA since they provide one of the best platforms for theatre.
What does being on stage and performing mean to you? How has it impacted your life?
Meherzad: Theatre is my life… I live off it, hence we need to respect it enough too. I am not religious, so for me theatre is my religion. I respect the stage like a temple and the audiences are my fellow devotees … theatre is my version of a POOJA in a temple.
The best compliment or words of appraisal you have received for your performance?
Meherzad: I follow a concept of letting applause fall on deaf ears. I tune out to people clapping and praising me. Because I don’t create for myself, I create for the world. Having said that, one of the most satisfying feelings is the one where our audience members come repeatedly for our plays – they’ve watched THE CLASS ACT 5 to 10 times and still come again …
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
Meherzad: 5 is too far … in the Facebook and Twitter world – nothing lasts for more than a day. More like in ONE year we have huge plans to do a musical. Today Silly Point Productions works through JTPAC – a company that has it’s own theatre company in Kerala and now together we are going pan India to take performing artists from all over to various cities.
Can you share with us details of your upcoming performances?
Meherzad: WE’re doing THE CLASS ACT in GOA this weekend at KALA MANDIR. A new city for us … very exciting.
We celebrate our 5 year anniversary on 31st August with a show of THE CLASS ACT at NCPA. In 2008 on this day we had our debut show and now 5 years to that date we are doing one of our best plays.
Followed by that is our newest play the next day – 1st September at the same venue called FOOLS. It’s an adult play because of it’s adult humour content… but hilarious to bits.
We’ve also got a huge show of SONAM KALRA and her SUFI GOSPEL Music show on Friday 30 August at TATA Theatre… her music is magical and worth every note.
Our laugh riot – IM BAWA AND I KNOW IT has a big show planned on January 18 at NCPA – TATA Theatre.
Something you would like to share with your fans?
Meherzad: Nothing but gratitude for supporting our performances over the last 5 years .. and for many more to come… !