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This show must go on

Sonu Anand, who came to Mumbai from Jharkhand in 2006 to do theatre, always loved memorising monologues. So, he decided to work on his craft further and set a goal of uploading 100 monologues in 100 weeks. But his personal goal turned into a collective one when he discussed the idea with his friends.

“They were hesitant to participate at first because 100 weeks spans over two years. That, for them, was a long commitment. So, eventually about 70 people came on board; we made a WhatsApp group, and a page on Instagram and Facebook in May,” Anand shares. Initially, they set a target to compulsorily have submissions on Mondays and those who fail to send entries would be eliminated from the exercise. But given that it’s a hard time for everyone right now, the rule was relaxed although eliminations will be in place starting the first week of October.

Anamika Naidu in a monologue from Tasveer, by Amardeep Singh Gill
Anamika Naidu in a monologue from Tasveer, by Amardeep Singh Gill

The project is currently in its 18th week and will conclude on April 11, 2022. Keeping in mind the attention span of social media users, the duration of each monologue doesn’t exceed four minutes. So far, entries have been based on scripts ranging from Manav Kaul’s Red Sparrow to Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. “I’ve performed scenes from classics such as Aadhe Adhure and Andha Yug, and after watching it people have asked me for the script because they wanted to read it. Kaul’s monologues are in demand with the younger generation; we’ve had submissions from 16-year-olds, too,” Anand says.

For actor Anamika Naidu, the project has been a rewarding experience at a time when artistes are struggling to find work. Anand, who is also the co-founder of Production Company & Joe Films with voice-over artiste Richard Joel, shares that a few actors have found work through the project, too. “I want to continue doing this. You end up reading so much while looking for new material and that, in turn, becomes a way of thinking about what is happening in your own life,” Naidu says.

Sonu Anand
Sonu Anand

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