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Produced By Motley

Motley was formed by Naseeruddin Shah & Benjamin Gilani in 1979. From being an itinerant troupe of two, Motley (later including Tom Alter, Ratna Pathak, Kenny Desai and Akash Khurana), now has a pretty large membership. Right from 1979 till date, Motley has brought every possible genre of drama to audiences of professional theatre across the length and breadth of India, and has performed to student audiences as well. With ‘story-telling’ theatre, Motley has found its niche and is serving the purposes of both entertainment as well as education.

Three Penny Opera

The Threepenny Opera has always been about pure entertainment at the level of the masses. It is bawdy, raucous, full of low-lifes, very sexy, a delight musically, with a ‘happy’ ending and amongst all of that is disguised the playwright’s passionate message about equality and social injustice. Historically, all the runs of the play- particularly those helmed by the playwright Bertolt Brecht and his Berliner Ensemble have been uproarious successes. Songs from the play have been appropriated by mass culture and converted literally into worldwide pop hits sung by musicians as diverse as Sting, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and The Doors, only to name a few. For one thing, reminding audiences about the brilliance of Brecht and Weill’s songwriting is very important, and the many messages weaved into the songs, of equality, social injustice, and economic disparity are particularly pertinent for Indian audiences. Mr Peachum, the owner of a small organization that makes outfitting and fake props for fake beggars- in a really poor part of the city, finds that his daughter, his only child has fallen for and gotten married to the bandit, Macheath. Macheath is a charming rogue with a propensity for visiting a particularly favourite brothel of his, but is yet so adorable that women find it hard to resist him. He has several charges levelled against him but one of the chief inspectors of police is his dear friend and is in his pocket. What follows is a crazy ride through a world of thieves, prostitutes, beggars, back alleys, and two timing characters- as Mr and Mrs. Peachum with some help, go about trying to imprison Macheath and get back their dear daughter. It is inherently naughty, sexual, playful and with a constant sympathy for the poor and downtrodden. 

Produced By Motley

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Directed By Imaad Shah

Arunoday

Bugs

Edwin

Meher Mistry

Saba

Vivaan

SWAPNA

11th November 2017

Enjoyed every moment.. the energy on stage, the movements, the music.. it was a wonderful experience. The subversive humour and the way the script has been tweaked for contemporary India... all worked for me. I loved the Peachum couple and Jenny, of course... 

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The Setting

Theatre in India, much like other places in the world, has a paradoxical image. As those in the Indian theatre scene would attest, dearth of funds and the occasional distracted audience remain an obstacle in what should otherwise be a free-flowing creative pursuit. At the same time, there is a small but significant section of the intelligentsia that gives the scene a cerebral hue, making it perceivably inaccessible to those who may not be so actively clued into the theatre scene. But all that is a thing of the past.

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