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Main Lover

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In a world where the lines of morality and truth have blurred, only one constant rules us all; desire. Exploring these vices, Priyanka Chatterjee’s play Main lover is a collection of sketches; a fractured play embracing a series of monologues, dialogues and performance art pieces set to a minimal light design, artworks on wall projection and an electronic soundscape.

Writer and director, Priyanka is a freelance writer and editor based in Kolkata who also freelances as a children’s voice over artist and vocalist. Her past theatre experiences include working chiefly as an Executive Producer. Co-written by Priyanka and Bornila Chatterjee, also a writer, director and filmmaker; the cast and crew consist of some of the finest creatives in Kolkata.

In an attempt at constructing a flickering, systemic uncertainty about woman-man power dynamics, the play blurs gender identities with Tanmay Dhanania playing three women and Bornila Chatterjee getting under the skin of the one male character. Main lover weaves an unsteady, fragmented narrative – much like the feel of subjective memories, heightened by a steady plot and brilliant visual design.

We connected with the mind behind the narrative, Priyanka Chatterjee, to know more about her play, Main Lover.  

Tell us about your play Main Lover? What lies at its core?
Monologues form the core of the play. These pieces of text allow us to glimpse into the minds of three women and a man and their attempt at navigating modern relationships and what they were, are and can be. The blurring of gender to play with power dynamics also forms the bedrock of this play.

What is the significance of the title Main Lover and how is it related to the play?
The characters keep harping about being someone’s significant other; the primary or “main” lover, but each person ends up finding these definitions fluid and unstable. These realizations raise all sorts of insecurities and (in) decisions. The play consists of eight sketches; one of them being Main Lover.

What was your inspiration for the plot?
The co-writer Bornila Chatterjee and I were thinking about writing something together, and she brought up the initial idea of dealing with triangular relationships. Our play is an enquiry into the concepts of monogamy, polyamory and other modern, undefined relationships. My personal inspirations for this play range from the work of Samuel Beckett, Thomas Mann and Italo Calvino. The fiction of the play has taken tit-bits from Bollywood gossip, new age spiritualism and astrology, Molly Soda and other internet artists, Tumblr poets and poetry collectives online, digital art, Youtube exercise videos and diet fads, japanese/korean pop music, light installation artists like Dan Flavin, Turrell, Olafur Eliasson etc. All these have played a part in forming the vision and feel of the play.

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