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An afternoon with The Third Space Collective, on their latest production ‘Dastaan-E-Bhook’

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Which smell reminds you of home?

It was the simplest of questions, posed by one of the members of The Third Space Collective. He tried to ease us all into the informal ‘Adda’ that transpired on a humid afternoon at Green Park, under the faint turpentine and peach coloured shades of the gazebo.
Answers varied from mutton curry cooked in mustard oil, to drift woods; from the wet smell of laundry to the fresh smell of soil embraced by the first rains.
On a lazy Friday afternoon, The Third Space Collective, a collective of theatre practitioners held, what they insist on calling, an ‘Adda’ to involve people in their craft of storytelling, as their latest production ‘Dastaan-E-Bhook’, an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s ‘Curse of the Starving Class’ approaches the calenders.


One might wonder, why the name, Third Space? In a conversation with the Director of the play, Dhwani Vij, a graduate of Kirori Mal College (KMC) and the Founder member of the Collective, passionately explained it to us. In any form of art and performance, a multitude of spaces is created. The first and foremost space is of the performers and the artists who weave the elaborate fabric of stories with their bodies, ideas, and training. The second space is created by what the artist encounters in this creative affair, from the co-actor to the stage, from the audience to the blank sheet of paper on their desks.
Then comes the third space, the conjunction of the first and the second, the most sacred place where creation takes place.



Already performed at the prestigious Prithvi Theatre at Thespo 2015, a youth theatre movement that began in the year 1999, and which has impacted the Bombay theatre scene considerably, ‘Dastaan-E-Bhook’ is a play tracing the journey of a family struggling to cope with each other. Packed with ideas of belonging, ownership, and home, the play is a dark absurdist comedy, about an all-consuming hunger, fed by the ripples of urbanisation. Questions of home and its definitions, an exploration of gray areas, percolates within the theme of the play.



The Third Space Collective’s charm lies in its simple endeavour to create an evening of discussion and conversation on a story that they wish to paint on stage. Most of its members, now graduates, hail from different colleges from the University of Delhi and their respective theatre societies. The ‘Adda’ was coloured by heart-rending poetry pieces on themes of home, musical performances, and to lure us more into the afternoon, multiple cups of ‘adrak wali chai’. Artists from different cities, backgrounds, theatre circuits participated in the afternoon of conversational hues of what home is and means to each of us, which soon segued into a cathartic evening.


      The motive of this informal ‘adda’ was to familiarise the audience with the craft, the characters, the story. A play is not just the director’s    child or the actor’s craft. It needs the voice of its audience, and that was the goal of the event, to tie up strands of truth and interpretations.


‘Dastaan-E-Bhook’ hits the theatres from September 1st to September 3rd, starting at 8.pm at The Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi, at Connaught Place.

Photo Credits: Vansh Sabharwal
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– Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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