Always known as the Meryl Streep Of India, Shabana Azmi is now set to go on stage in a role that Streep has played in the US. And joining Shabana on 'Meryl Street" is her good friend, Urmila Matondkar.
For those who have been wondering where Urmila is these days here"s the news. She is all set to go on stage for the first time and that too with the formidable Shabana Azmi as her co-star. The play entitled Seven has been performed internationally as part of the creative endeavours of a global organization known as Vital Voices. The play Seven now comes to Delhi on August 17th as a culmination of the 2-day Vital Voices Asia Summit in Delhi.
Meryl Streep has played the role in an earlier staging of the play in the US.
Apparently, it was Shabana who coaxed Urmila Matondkar to step into plays. Other actresses in this all-women play are Shabana"s sister-in-law Tanvi Azmi, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mahbanoo Mody-Kotwal, Jayati Bhatia and Mahira Kakkar, who has also done the play internationally.
In fact, Shabana orchestrated the whole project in India on behalf of Vital Voices. She not only got all the actresses to agree, but she also spoke to Konkona Sen-Sharma, who unfortunately had to back out due to prior commitments.
Shabana protests at being called the conductor of this orchestra for this prestigious international play. “All I did was put the people behind the project in touch with actresses down here. They wouldn"t have known how to get the right actors for the parts. Seven is a very prestigious play and the director, Evan Yionoulis, is a theatre phenomenon."
About coaxing Urmila into theatre, Shabana says, “Urmila and I go back a long way. When I worked with her in Masoom she wasn"t a child like the other kids in the film. She was a STAR. We bonded years later during Khalid Mohamed"s Tehzeeb where I played her mother and we"ve kept in touch. Urmila is at a very interesting juncture in her career where she wants to explore new avenues."
Adds Urmila, “Yes, I"m going on stage for the first time. Should be fun."