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Solo Theatre Festival in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai from Oct 11-21

Pip Utton in Adolf
Pip Utton in Adolf
An International Solo Theatre Festival, the first of its kind in India and inspired by the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will be held from October 11-21.
 
The festival, "Going Solo", will bring to the stages of Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai award-wining and riveting one-person acts.
 
The productions which will be performed in the three cities are Churchill by Pip Utton (UK), At the Edge by Jailoshini Naidoo (South Africa) and Adolf by Pip Utton (UK).
 
"'Going Solo' will capture the essence of the Edinburgh fringe in India. You will see some of the most brilliant performers gather here from across the world," Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, organisers of the festival, said.
 
"As an open access arts festival, part of the great appeal to companies of bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the possibility of that work finding a life outwith the festival and outside the UK.  It’s great that Going Solo is providing that life for these companies," Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, added.
 
The performances will be held from October 11-13 at the MLR Auditorium in Bangalore, from October 16-18 at the FICCI Auditorium in Delhi and from  October 19-21 at the Sophia Bhabha Hall in Mumbai.
 
In Churchill, Winston Churchill descends from his plinth to indulge himself in three of his greatest pleasures: a glass of scotch, a cigar and listening to himself talk. He talks of his childhood, his parents, his education, his army life, his marriage, his painting, writing and bricklaying, his appetites and of course he talks of his many yeas at the center of the world political stage especially during two world wars. 
Pip Utton in Churchill
Pip Utton in Churchill
 
Utton's new play is not an attempt to decide on Churchill’s greatness or to judge. It is just 70 minutes spent in the entertaining company of the man whose life spanned two centuries and saw the decline of the British Empire. The man who spent fifty years at the heart of political life in Westminster. 
 
The man who held most of the high offices of State, whose paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, who won the Nobel Orize for literature in 1953, who in 1963 was made the first honorary citizen of the United States and who in 2002, in a BBC poll, was voted the Greatest Briton in history.
 
'Adolf' is one of the most successful solo shows of the past 15  years. It has been performed in over twenty countries and continues to tour widely. 
 
Written and performed by Pip Utton with direction by Guy Masterson, ‘Adolf’ furnishes an acute anatomy of fascism; its ideological justifications, its poisoned utopias.
 
Looking uncomfortably like the Fuhrer, Utton takes his audience on a journey into themselves, gently coaxing an understanding of the mindset of a nation that could allow a man such as Hitler to take control. 
 
A new Hitler emerges, without the wig, without moustache. It seems at first that it might be the actor himself chatting amiably; the sort of jolly chappie you might meet in a bar, but it isn’t. This new ‘Hitler’ manipulates the audiences, getting laughter and even nods of approval for his increasing intolerant attitudes. It plumbs the very source of racism and exposes just how near the surface of our own lives lurks its insidious influence. It challenges the audience to react and pushes them into looking within themselves to question their own prejudicies and intolerance.
Jailoshini Naidoo in At the Edge
Jailoshini Naidoo in At the Edge
 
Utton began writing and performing one man shows sixteen years ago. Since then he has won acclaim and awards throughout the world and has established a reputation as one of the leading writers and performers of solo theatre. He writes, produces and tours easily staged, accessible text based drama that engages directly with the audience. He aims not only to entertain but also to stimulate the ‘grey cells’.
 
In 'At the Edge', short stories set in Cato Manor, Durban, before its destruction by the Group Areas Act, Naidoo, playing an academic pondering the past, morphs into around 20 characters (comic, poignant, angry, sycophantic, egotistical, devastated… so many different faces).
 
A popular television presenter in South Africa, she has appeared in numerous stage productions including Jungle Book, This Black Woman, The Coolie Odyssey, Jimbo, Queens of Comedy, Curry on Laughing and the critically acclaimed one-hander 1949 in which she played 38 characters.
 
The play has been written by Govender (born 1934) is a South African playwright of Tamil descent. His book, At the Edge and other Cato Manor Stories, won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, best first book, Africa.
 
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