Invisible lines are drawn in rooms, in offices; in spaces; every day. But what happens when these boundaries are breached? In times of lockdown – as many cities and areas around the world are now subject to because of the global pandemic – these barriers become all-the-more precious and porus.
In ‘Together-Apart’, a play set during these volatile times, two women stuck in a room together during a period of lockdown must contend with the vulnerability of the zones they’ve created for themselves. And in doing so, they must explore their relationships, with one another and with themselves.
The script, written by Cerise de Gelder, is to be enacted at The Junction, from August 6-8, and delves into the dynamics of two spectacularly different personalities mushed together because of chance and circumstance.
Director Sabiha Majgaonkar, who is also acting in the play, says there’s a reverb of life in the show, making acting the part easy. “Honestly there are no role difficulties as it’s a very situational, current times play so we have to dress and behave like how everyone does at the moment,” she explains.
The only hiccup? Stringing the actual sequence of events together. “I think the main challenge has been rehearsal considering social distancing needs to be observed, but we started rehearsals in July when [things had eased up a bit] and as it has only two characters it has helped easy things a bit,” she adds.
Not the only one
What about the fact that these women are stuck day-in-day-out in the same room, with the same surroundings. Does lack of location change mean monotony? Not really, argues Maigonkar. Think of the stark set for Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ or the more recent ‘Sea Wall/A Life’, featuring Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal. As long as the acts and players are powerful emoters, the audience will be engaged.
You see, explains Maigonkar: “While it’s a one act so location does not change, there is much to do in the story line that allows me as a director to work with various emotions for both the characters. I have always seen that giving solid performances and by keeping the pace contained and the rhythm smooth, one can keep the audience engaged. It’s a bonus when the story is funny and relatable.”
And this one is. It’s a story of the current; of COVID-19, of uncontrollable happenstance, of constricted existence, of mutual agony – of being together, battle lines drawn only to realise that the wall was never there.
DON'T MISS IT!
Tickets to ‘Together-Apart’, which runs at the Junction on August 6-8 at at 3pm and 7.30pm, start at Dh80.