Alia Saleh
Alia Saleh Image Credit: Supplied

Life viewed from a distance can provide much entertainment. In Cerise de Gelder’s production ‘Love at 50 Paces!’ one glimpses at the ups and downs of a 35-year-old trying to find love.

The latest dramatization of the plot – which plays out on November 28 on Zoom - is an international project, with members scattered around the globe.

Gulf News caught up with director Sabiha Majgoankar ahead of the 6pm show to talk about the relevance of it, why the pandemic is no where on the agenda of play and if online dispensation is the way forward for theatre. Here’re excepts

What is it about ‘Love at 50 Paces!’ that is so compelling?

I think the fact that it is relatable to a lot of single women not so successful in their love life is why it interested me and the fact that it does end on a positive note is what was compelling. Also it’s my [favourite] genre - black comedy - and written by one of my favourite writers, Cerise de Gelder.

Does the pandemic feature in any way in the plot?

No, the pandemic doesn’t feature in anyway but I think not every play that happens needs to have the pandemic featured in it. I think taking people to the times when things were and will be normal is important as well.

Tell us about the international casting of it - how did it come about and how does it help the story?

Alia [Saleh], the actor who is performing on stage, was based in Dubai until 2 years ago and was lead in two of my full lengths here. She is a fabulous actor with wide range of expressions and is a perfect fit considering this is online and the performance needs to be really strong to keep the audiences glued. Plus I needed an actor with good vocals as I have some singing incorporated in the play.

What have the challenges of putting up the play been?

It’s been easier than normal productions because we rehearse from our homes on Zoom. The challenge I faced as a director is to keep a stage feel to an online play. I have incorporated movements and blocking changes to make that happen but I can tell you it’s not been easy to work that out in the restrictive space that is synonymous to online performances.

What do you think is the future of storytelling and on-stage entertainment? Is it fated to be an online fix?

I think Theatre will survive these times and be back strong and good. It always has so no, I don’t think it’s fated to be an online fix. But the fact that technology allows us to indulge in it online while we wait the pandemic out is so awesome. I think the future will be a good healthy mix of both these platforms, one that might lead to innovativeness in performing arts.

Don't miss it!

Tickets to see 'Love at 50 Paces!'  on November 28 at 6pm start at Dh30