Often theatre artistes rue the medium is not well-paying, but veteran actor Rakesh Bedi says the story would be different if you do the right kind of roles.
Having worked across the film, television and theatre mediums, Rakesh’s “Chashme Buddoor” act, as well as his entertaining parts in “Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi”, “Shrimaan Shrimati” and “Zabaan Sambhalke” cannot be forgotten. He has also worked in a number of plays, and continues to remain active.
The actor will be essaying the role of Yashwant in a play titled “Wrong Number” at the Kamani auditorium here on Sunday.
“It’s true that in India, theatre doesn’t allow you to pay your bills or monthly expenses. In the past it didn’t give monetary benefits.
“But the kind of theatre I have done has allowed me to some extent to pay my bills and look after my well-being and health,” Rakesh told IANS in an email interaction.
Citing the example of “Wrong Number”, presented by production house Felicity Theatre and directed by Raman Kumar, Rakesh says the play has given him the ability to do very well financially.
“It is one of those plays which have the ability to do very well and generate a little bit of money for all of us. Another play of mine ‘Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha’, which is a big international hit, has completed 125 shows in two and half years’ time and has travelled to the US, Middle East, Singapore, Australia, Kenya and New Zealand,” said the 63-year-old actor.
“My play ‘Massage’ that has been running for 15 years now is giving me sufficient returns. So it is not that theatre doesn’t pay you… (only) if you do the right kind of roles,” he added.
On films and TV shows today, Rakesh says they demand a fair share of an artiste’s time.
“A 25-day schedule becomes a 35-day schedule and leaves me with no time do anything else. If I have to do that kind of work, I have to forego my theatre and forego lots of other activities that I do. I do lots of other things that will be get jeopardised if I do those kind of schedules.
“Having said that, I still do my share of television such as ‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar pe hai’ and interesting roles in films that are not very time-consuming,” he said.
After the play, which also features Delnaaz Irani, Tanaaz Irani, Avtar Gill, Kishwar Merchant, Rajesh Puri and Rahul Bhuchar, Rakesh has written and directed another play on a “burning situation” prevailing in the country nowadays.
“It will be a celebrity-driven play and should hit theatres by the end of this year,” said Rakesh.
“Wrong Number” is a play based on juggling with time and space to present the lives and loves, passion and panic of three married couples in a play of love, laughter and mayhem.