Anuradha HR who runs the Untitled Space in Bangalore shares with Mums and Stories her journey of being a theatre person, actor, director, entrepreneur and mum. She shares, “ I had a very normal and typical middle class family childhood. I was in college when I discovered theatre. It was a conscious career choice. But theatre does not earn money so had to take up corporate job.
Now I also run an alternative space for the community and artists to engage and collaborate in the arts. It is like a local cultural living room.”
Talking about bringing out theatrical concepts for plus size bodied people or even talking about it comfortably in the scrutinizing world of having thinner versions of women.
Anuradha shares, “ I have always been a fat person. I think all body shapes are beautiful. The aesthetics about body needs change. The difference between fitness and beauty is getting blurred and hence it is important to speak about our relations with our bodies, and accept it.”
This weekend she is acting in a play that is being staged at Rangashankara, titled Head 2 Head. The synopsis of the play is “Am I a good actor even though I am fat? “How does being in this body shape me as an actor?” “Did Shakespeare say Hamlet was lean?”
Anuradha shares in an introspective manner, “ The play has been In search of answers to these questions, The Big Fat Company plays with Hayavadana and has come up with Head 2 Head, a unique devised theatre performance. By using sections of the iconic Kannada play by Girish Karnad, it interrogates identity and archetypes, and the mind-body (dis)connection.
An important question for actors with large bodies who deal with this quandary on a daily basis is: Where does identity lie: head or body? Or both
We also examine the body of politics and politics of the body we encounter during our own work as individuals and as a community. We explore prevailing archetypes in the theatre industry in the guise of actors working on a play, using humor to re-look at the fat body.
Lastly, as fat actors, the ‘main’ (read meaty) roles generally go to the thin actors. Playing the main protagonists in an iconic play has its own thrill!”
(Anuradha with her daughter).
Talking on being a mum Anuradha says, “ It is very difficult to do the juggling role since I balance on two professions and being a single mom. There is always a struggle to find time for myself.”
Mums and Stories applauds such inspiring mums who do not get bullied by body shaming but are not only voicing their opinion and making spaces and acceptance for everyone. Here’s wishing Anuradha and the team the very best for the play and future endeavours.
(All photographs are subject to copyright).