2019 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream

9 Aug

Your name: HRH Anand Rajaram

Your production: Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream

Your role: Conceiver/Performer

Tell me about your show.

The Scream is an adaptation of internationally acclaimed writer Rohinton Mistry’s novella about the horripilating anxieties of a nocturnally micturating sesquipedalianist.

An eloquent elderly man lives in a Mumbai apartment. He heard a scream from the street a few nights ago and hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep since. His caregivers don’t believe him. They abuse him and try to convince him he is losing his mind.

The show will be presented as a living painting. Set, costume, and makeup designer Roxanne Ignatius has designed a stunning visual palette. Nicholas Murray’s ethereal soundscape and Mark Andrada’s hypnotic lighting design enchant and beguile the audience, inviting them into this surreal world.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

I’m very excited by the range of work available and am eager to catch all of it if I can. I’m particularly excited for Des-Echos (cos their show image looks amazing), The Archive of Missing Things (cos it’s interactive and tech-driven), Black Ballerina (cos I love dance and I think I would have a lot of connection with their exploration of being POC in the dance world), Cliff Cardinal’s CBC Special (cos Cliff is a terrific provocative and funny artist). I could list so many more, but I assume space is limited. Other artists whose work I am excited for are Jamillah Ross, Peter Chin, Jenn Goodwin, Bilal Baig, Ravi Jain, David Yee, Nina Lee Aquino, Frank Cox O’Connell, Alan Dilworth, and my pal, Tim Walker. And I’m very eager to meet all the artists whose work I don’t know. 

What would you like to see more of in the Toronto performing arts environment?

I would love to see more stuff that is way far from “naturalist” theatre and a touch more experimental in form. I love “naturalist” theatre, there’s just a lot of it and variety would be great.

Campaign advertising for the upcoming federal election is replaced by one-person Fringe shows performed by the party leaders. Tickets are free so you can attend any show without necessarily being a supporter of the performer or their party. Whose show do you go see, what is it called, and what is the show about in a nutshell?

If it doesn’t mean supporting their position at all, I would see Andrew Scheer’s and Maxine Bernier’s shows, just to see what their horrible imaginations have inspired. In both cases, I think they would make a haunted house called “Antifarankenstein’s Castle” with socialists from history jumping out at you. The central room will feature each of them as high priests, offering a baptism in petrol. My fear is, they’ll record me and use my image without permission.

Justin Trudeau’s would be called “First Past the Post” and hold great promise, but he’ll end up cancelling the run.

Jagmeet Singh’s would be a rave-style party show with fantastic energy but no real content or innovation.

Elizabeth May’s would be a one audience member at a time show and she’d drink a cup of tea with you and put on her favourite records. It would be charming, but without enough audience to support it, would struggle to get any buzz. Her show title would be my favourite, though, “Best When I’m Left Alone”.

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