Despite the fact that it has played at venues across India, the fact that the play has broken the final taboo remains unknown outside a small circle. The response at the Thrissur festival was predictable — it is reputedly one of the most formidable theatre audiences in India. Sudhanva Deshpande, actor and director with the Delhi-based theatre troupe Jan Natya Manch, saw the play evolve from its nascent stages. She has become better, more skilled at handling the space, but the moments leading up to the first appearance are still filled with anxiety. The bolder version of TDS has been playing to limited audiences, in protected settings — the audiences are required to leave their mobile phones outside the venue and there are no videos of the show or explicit publicity photographs either. Then a little over one year ago, Taneja decided that it was time the bold but lovable skit turned a darker corner:
A darkly funny, one-woman show, TDS starts with the actor appearing onstage in her underclothes and builds up to a hysterical climax, with her trussed and helmeted in readiness to repel the male gaze on an evening out.
'I was tired of hiding': Delhi-based actor Mallika Taneja turns onstage nudity into act of protest
Then a little over one year ago, Taneja decided that it was time the bold but lovable skit turned a darker corner: Well yes, it is. From behind the wings, a woman steps into the circle of light and stands facing the stunned audience. Would that mean she was sexualising the space? Police officer and protestor killed in Bulandshahr violence, and 9 other top stories Bulandshahr violence: