Say ‘theatre’ and the two spikes that shoot high on the graph are cult and Mumbai. However, the focus on Delhi theatre has inched towards coming of age in the recent years. Even after existing for centuries (if specificity is what you seek), the recognition of Delhi theatre scenes have had a push and pull relationship with the limelight spot. To comprehend its credibility, one must look at how today’s incredible industry professionals were once Delhi’s amateur artists; Naseeruddin Shah, Shahrukh Khan, Shabana Azmi, Manoj Bajpai to name a few. To acquaint, and equally entice you further, here are few of Delhi’s bustling theatre spaces that push the ‘act’ in an actor while simultaneously delivering phenomenal performances.
Shri Ram Centre of Performing Arts
Welcome to the land of art and struggle. SRCPA brings delight to the stereotyped life of a regular theatre aspirant. Old and gold, it has catered to audiences for almost half a century. Its auditorium is known for buzzing with performances of every stratum; established and non-established productions co-exist on its stage blending the raw and the classic. SRCPA is also that one center about which anyone with even a tiny interest in Delhi theatre would know of. Located closely to the National School of Drama, this stage encourages budding dreams of theatre artists almost every day.
#DSSCTopTip: Take a bite of the past with their old school treats, reminiscent of college canteens. Indulging in these evergreen quick bites is worth the guilt trip.
Head here: Shri Ram Centre 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi.
Kingdom of Dreams
Hearty and ambitious Kingdom of Dreams holds true to its name with a ‘dream like’ exclusivity for theatre goers and aspirants alike. What KOD has brought to Delhi NCR is an experience of majestic aerials, eye pleasing decor, and a revolving stage; juxtaposed with holistic and mature theatre. An evening at KOD is much more than the performance itself, it’s larger than life imagination come alive, and promises to thrill you, theatre enthusiast or not.
#DSSCTopTip: Don’t forget to top up the theatrical trip with some indulgence at Culture Gully. A street packed with regional foods and arts from all over India, ODing on art will never feel better.
Head here: Auditorium Complex, Near IFFCO Metro Station, Sector 29, Gurugram.
Bustling and boiling between amateur dreams and old school vibes, an experience at Kamani is a walk down the memory lane. As the 90s cool kids would say, “It takes them back to the single screen theatre.” With clean surroundings, comfortable seating, and accommodating surround sound, Kamani still stands tall and proud after its 66 years. It is also known for its courteous staff and it’s allure is such, the legends chose to perform here than anywhere else.
#DSSCTopTip: The cafeteria has everything to rev up your single-screen era memories, just grab some popcorn & cola and embark on the journey of the thespian arts.
Head here: 1, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi.
‘Warmth’ is the key at Oddbird. Fairly new and still setting its feet in an area never before known for theatre – Chattarpur, the foundation has taken up the task of making theatre more accessible. They don’t just nourish talent, they provide facilities, infrastructure, and support artists’ requirements in order to explore and thrive in the theatre world. It has built a community within the theatre community, and with volunteering opportunities, performers aren’t the only ones part of it. Their space follows the idea of cultivating niche, and while the seating is compact, Oddbird makes you feel at home while indulging in an escapade called theatre.
#DSSCTopTip: Do not step out without saying hello to the most beautiful dame in the house, Shambhavi Singh. As for the ace gent making up the other half of Oddbird, Akhil Wable, meet him here.
Head here: Dhan Mill Compound, 100 Foot Road, SSN Marg, Chhattarpur, New Delhi.
Theatre is an experience that magnifies living. Want us to lift the drapes on one your favourite spaces or share your thoughts on the ones mentioned here? Comment below or write to us at [email protected].