Bandra.info caught up with Mona Singh and Rohit Roy, the lead actors of Unfaithfully Yours, which has been produced and directed by Raell Padamsee of Ace Productions. This play will be performed on March 17th at St. Andrews auditorium in Bandra. So we thought it a good idea to interview Mona and Rohit about their play and about their experience of acting for a Bandra audience.
Incidentally, the play Unfaithfully Yours, is a comedy about a a couple that are happily married… but not to each other. Yet love blossoms in the strangest of places, and for Akash and Preet, it means a 26 year long relationship packed with passion, romance, comedy and drama, that’s as wrong as it is perfectly right! Here is our chat with them:
Manju: How do you find Bandra audiences and do you enjoy performing for them?
Rohit: We have some of our best performances at St. Andrews , Bandra.. the audience is so receptive every single time, that the actor in me feels reenergised every show! We’ve had repeat audiences who have laughed out louder than even the first time they saw Unfaithfully Yours! Also, I think theatre is part of the lifestyle fabric of a huge cross section of Bandraites, which makes their appreciation so much more rewarding.
Mona: The first time I moved to Bombay, I was told a lot about Bandra. I personally love Bandra a lot.. I love the crowd there, I love the restaurants it’s a very chilled out place. The same goes for the Bandra audiences super chilled and I love performing for them!
Manju: Which is your favourite theatre in the city to perform in? How would you rate Andrews auditorium?
Rohit: I’ve already answered most of this question in my first answer, but I’d like to add one story.. which will help you understand my rating of St Andrews! Firstly I rate St. Andrews 10/10 and here is why.. our BEST PERFORMANCE in Mumbai has been at St. Andrews.. I remember when the 3 legends Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman and Helen ji had come to see our show and when they came up to meet us post the show, not only did all 3 love it, but Waheeda ji and Asha ji personally complimented me on my performance (I did put my best foot forward that night) and I could have died and gone to heaven right there and then!
Mona: If you ask me which is my favourite theatre in the city I really can’t pin point one such theatre because I love performing. I love being on stage but if you ask me about my favourite ones, then that would be St. Andrews, NCPA, Sophias all the theatres.. because an artist loves to be on stage and that’s all that matters.
Manju: Do either of you live in Bandra? What do you think is special about Bandra? Street? restaurant? Landmark? Shopping?
Rohit: Yes I used to live on the Bandra bandstand stretch when I moved to Mumbai. But now I have moved to Juhu. However, my fondness for the people, the ambience, the food et al of Bandra remains undiminished !! Believe it or not, even today I live on the Juhu sea face, but somehow the smell and feel of the Bandra sea breeze is different!
Mona: I don’t live in Bandra but I hang around there pretty often. I love trying out all the different restaurants there, shopping yes, a little bit. Bandra as a whole is a wonderful place to be at.
Manju: How did you enjoy working with each other and with Raell for Unfaithfully Yours? And you Raell, how was your experience working with Mona and Rohit?
Rohit: Raell, is not only the best producer one can work with, but also the bestest human being I’ve known. Theatre doesn’t afford its actors a lot of luxuries, but Raell has made our life better on set by giving us what it takes and enriched my life off it. Let’s just say she has spoilt me for life. I actually bully her about a lot of things but she treats me like a petulant child and lets me get away with it!
Mona is my best friend in the acting world,. I have always loved her and I have tremendous respect for her as a person and the way she conducts herself . She is a rare breed of actors who wears her crown very lightly..
Mona: Raell is a very big name in the Theatre industry. It’s absolutely beautiful working with her and she has taught me a lot of things, like how to be on stage, how to be loud, how to project my voice, how to take the light on stage. There was a lot of learning and unlearning that I had to do while rehearsing for Unfaithfully Yours, as this happens to be my first play! So yeah, working with Raell is super fun and I’ve learnt a lot from her.
Working with Rohit.. Well, I have worked with him before. Also we share a great rapport and we’re good friends and when you’re working with a friend you’re not stressed out.
Raell: Such a fantastic fun filled experience.. full of discovery.. which is what i enjoy most about directing. I had conceptualised it as we were eavesdropping on these two, and hence the acting had to be very nuanced. Much fun was had by alI including our entire creative and production team, which was then complimented by full houses and standing ovations!
Manju: Mona, is it stressful doing that scene where you go into labor again and again? How do you react to that scene Rohit?
Rohit: In my opinion, and I’m sure Mona will agree, that it is the best scene in the play!!! We have managed to bring down the house show after show during that scene.. it’s really demanding , this particular scene, but since we know the kind of reaction it’s going to garner, I think we always put in 150% into it and it sets the tone for the 2nd half of the play! I love the way it turned out as the written material was quite different and Raell took it up quite a few notches higher during rehearsals!
Mona:- The pregnancy scenes is one of my favorite scenes. The audience actually goes crazy laughing. It’s not stressful at all, Infact my only fear is that I’ll end up laughing during this scene because it is a very funny scene. I always look forward to performing this scene specially.
Manju: Did you enjoy doing this play? How do you go back to performing it after gaps, as your shows are never held back to back?
Rohit: Doing a play with only 2 characters is always going to be demanding.. we both knew that.. but I do theatre for the thrill and immediate reward and so I picked this play. I absolutely love doing Unfaithfully Yours! I call it my reward for doing good work on film and tv! Gaps sometimes work to my favour as they infuse a new enthusiasm and fire into the performance. We are performing at St. Andrews after almost a year and so I must make sure it’s better and a little different to the last time, so that repeat audiences can enjoy it as much as first timers !
Mona: I always enjoy performing this play- Unfaithfully Yours is very close to my heart as it is my first play. Performing after gaps, yes it gets a little difficult but rehearsals come into place. We rehearse a lot, we read 2-3 times and then once we’re ready we go up on stage… ofcourse I always get nervous but being nervous according to me is a good sign.