BENGALURU: Who doesn’t remember Jaswinder ‘Jazz’ Kapoor with her sultry gait from Kal Ho Na Ho? Played by Lillete Dubey, the character’s vivacious screen presence remains registered almost a decade after the movie was released.
The artist is coming to the city this weekend with her play 9 Parts of Desire, which will be staged at the Leela Palace on November 20.
The play, directed by Lillete is a monologue and Ira Dubey, her daughter, will be playing characters of nine women.
It delves into the many conflicts of being a woman in a country overshadowed by war. It was originally written by Heather Raffo after her visit to the Saddam Art Center. A painting titled Savagery, depicting a naked woman holding onto a tree, inspired her to make this play. This painting was made by Layla al-Attar whose character has been prominently placed in the play.
During a conversation with City Express, Ira Dubey says that the transition from one character to another is challenging because it’s not like a film where we can take breaks to change clothes and makeup. “I have to be quick. Some elements will be removed and others added to suit the character,” she says. The play portrays lives of a cross-section of Iraqi women – a sexy painter, a radical Communist, a doctor, an exile, wives, mothers, and lovers.
She has given more than 50 shows so far of the same production.
“I had to get into the skin of this women to understand how to enact it. I had to learn their language, learn their body language, and adapt to the new role quickly. For this, I listened to various radio documentaries and tried to understand their lives, their accents,” she says.
Director plays an important role in helping an actor understand how to enact a character. “My mother helped throughout the play and also during the preparation,” she says.
Getting to work with mother is a pleasure, but also a challenge. Ira has worked with her mother is many other productions such as 30 Days in September and Adhe Adhure and August Osage County. Ira says, “I like working with her because she understands me and knows me inside out. It’s satisfying. But it is also challenging because she is a tough director.”
She has been part of many films so far. But her first love continues to be theatre because she has been performing on stage since she was five.
Her longest running play is Wedding Album written by Girish Karnad.
She also looks forward to directing her own play soon.