At the Delhi Ibsen Festival in 2009, actor Happy Ranajit received critical appreciation for essaying the role of Eilert Lovborg from Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler. It was during the characterisation process that he was struck by the idea for his new play, Familiar Strangers (in pic). “Those who have multiple partners think they are free to do whatever they want. I have tried to bring out the mixed emotions of being in such relationships,” says Ranajit, who won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award (META) for Best Actor in 2010. The 60-minute play deals with the relationship between a man and woman, of how they are familiar yet strangers to each other.
His other play, Genuine Liars, has been inspired by artist Pablo Picasso. “Just like in Picasso’s painting Bullfight: Death of the Torero (1933), which shows a bullfighter, on top of a horse fighting a bull, in the play, I have replaced the horse with a woman and the bull with a man. I have tried to show the fight between a man and a woman and how relationships fall apart because of ego issues,” says Ranajit.