We are now experiencing the effects of climate change all around us, including unpredictable weather patterns, an increase in natural disasters, and sinking cities.
We are now experiencing the effects of climate change all around us, from unpredictable weather patterns to an increase in natural disasters and sinking cities. The Earth we are leaving behind will soon be uninhabitable for future generations. Lungs, a drama by Quasar Thakore-Padamsee, shed attention on this potentially fatal occurrence. This drama, created by acclaimed playwright Duncan Macmillan, made its debut in 2011.
In contrast to previous plays you may have read or seen, Lungs is performed on a bare stage with no scenery, props, mime, or costume changes. In the words of the playwright himself. There is nothing to indicate time or place, not even light. The drama primarily centers on a man and a woman, referred to as M and W, as they discuss delivering a kid into a world that is doomed. The entire exchange spans a lifetime and demonstrates how each party’s beliefs, attitudes, and anxieties develop over time.
The play is about two actors talking to each other, and we wanted to keep it as open-ended as possible, says Padamsee when describing the method he took to get his actors ready for it. The drama can therefore take any turn on any given night. And it was my responsibility as the director to look into every option for my performers. We spent the entirety of our rehearsing forgetting all of that, which is extremely nerve-racking for actors who normally like to have their parts nailed down.
Everyone in the audience can relate to the roles because they are not exclusive to a single person. The audience itself plays the role of a bystander overhearing a very private conversation. Actress Dilnaz Irani, who portrays the role of women in the play, claims that “there is no character.” They have no names at all. Q instructed us on the first day that I want you to bring as much of yourself and use your life experiences to construct the character. I believe I speak for many women in today’s society who are having quite similar discussions with their boyfriends.
According to Prashant Prakash, this was the “most difficult script” he had ever written. The lack of any stage directions, in my opinion, makes it extremely distinctive. Things are not set in stone the way that they frequently are. You experience them. Here, the musician performs in real-time, and the lighting designer adapts to what is happening on stage at any given time. In that sense, it’s a dynamic form of creation.
Due to the epidemic, plays, shows, and movies have been postponed or canceled during the past two years, hurting the arts. Padamsee explains that this drama was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020 and “again in January of this year. But due to omicron, it was altered once more. And so, once more, I was astounded when the date was mentioned. Never again.” However, that is how the world is now.