top of page
About The Show
One chases the enemy, another chases sleep. Somewhere, one devours an entire mountain while the other slurps on custard. Together they try to make sense of what’s between the lines, and the lines start to disappear. They let go of the questions when the answers begin to appear. Elsewhere, a town awakens to a dwindling yet satisfied populace, whilst a couple lay a picnic table amidst the gunfire.
Kaivalya Plays and Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi invite you to an evening of absurdist storytelling based on texts from Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Fernando Arrabal and Virgilio Piñera.
The running order of the evening includes:
INTERROGATORIO from “Cuentos Frios” by Virgilio Piñera
A prisoner is confronted with a fundamental question about identity. Presented In Spanish with English and Hindi subtitles.
YOU HAVE THE EYES OF A FEMME FATAL based on the text by Enrique Jardiel Poncela.
What happens when an all encompassing intelligence delves into the interplay of modern love, desire and seduction? Presented In English with Spanish and Hindi subtitles.
MONTAÑA from “Cuentos Frios” by Virgilio Piñera
Persistence, escape or something else entirely? Bit by bit, witness one’s attempt at a geological upheaval. Presented In Spanish with English and Hindi subtitles.
मांस (Meat) from “Cuentos Frios” by Virgilio Piñera
A famine leads to a town beginning to turn to a very personal kind of sustenance. Presented in Hindi with English and Spanish subtitles.
INSOMNIO from “Cuentos Frios” by Virgilio Piñera
An all too familiar state for so many, but is the escape worth the relief? Presented in Spanish with English and Hindi subtitles.
PICNIC ON THE BATTLEFIELD based on the text by Fernando Arrabal.
A family comes together for a lovely picnic in the middle of the battlefield. They are interrupted by an unexpected guest. Nothing unusual about that, right? Presented in English with Hindi and Spanish subtitles.
The performance will be presented on Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th November 2023 everyday at 7:30pm IST at the Auditorium at Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi, Connaught Place.
Free entry with prior registration. Please reserve your seats here.
Directed by Varoon P. Anand and Gaurav Singh Nijjer
Performed by Dhruv Rai, Shubhra Tandon and Ramita Menon
Stage and Production Management by Vidit Singh and Sukriti Sharma
Translation, Subtitles and Production by Kanva Chaudhary and Aatika Khan
Documentation, Illustrations and Media by Riddhijit Chattopadhyay and Kaustubh Rajwade
Lights and Technical Assistance by Deeksha Vats
Supported by Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi
We would like to acknowledge and thank the administrative staff and the technical team of Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi for their support in realising this production.
A theatre performance exploring the absurdist works of Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Fernando Arrabal and Virgilio Piñera.
In collaboration with Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi.
27, 28, 29 November, 7:30pm
Auditorium, Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi
English, Hindi, Spanish with Subtitles
Free entry with registration.
Press & Media
About The Show
Gaurav Singh Nijjer
Gaurav Singh is a theatre-maker, actor, arts researcher and freelance marketer who works across New Delhi and Berlin. As a theatre-maker, his artistic practice investigates live performance and audience-performer interactivity using technology and distanced composition. He brings together his training in spontaneous improvisation, interest in multilingual theatre and his professional experience in marketing, technology and design to explore new ways of engaging audiences, in the theatre, at home and otherwise. He is one half of the Delhi-based theatre collective Kaivalya Plays. Originally from New Delhi, he is currently based in Berlin, Germany as a German Chancellor Fellow (Bundeskanzler-Stipendium) where he is conducting a 12-month arts research project on audiences for digital theatre and hybrid performances with the Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll as his host organization. He graduated with MA in Advanced Theatre Practice (Distinction) at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2021, receiving the prestigious Chevening Scholarship from the UK Government. In 2021, he co-directed and designed ‘Lifeline 99 99’, a unique one-on-one interactive performance on the telephone that re-imagined performance formats for the pandemic and received widespread critical acclaim. He served as the technical director for ‘The Flabby Breasted Virgin & Other Sordid Tales’, a playful, irreverent digital performance exploring how women's bodies are taught, perceived and practised within medical education in India. In 2021, he received two grants under the C3: Codes, Creativity and Community program by Goethe-Institut India and BeFantastic to create open-source community platforms for arts funding and arts education. In 2022, he joined the BeFantastic Within AI & Performing Arts Fellowship and subsequently received an artistic research grant towards Climateprov, a hybrid theatre project that brings together generative AI and improvised theatre to kickstart conversations about the climate crisis. As an arts manager, Gaurav is the General Manager at Kaivalya Plays, a Delhi-based independent theatre company known for their work in applied improvisation and adaptation of foreign-language texts. Here, Gaurav co-created the Theatre Management Fellowship, a unique training initiative that focuses on the strategic management and creative administration of theatre. Under Kaivalya Plays, Gaurav also directed Lifeline 99 99 (2021) and Luz Negra (2020), devised Aguebao (2019) and performed in Unravel (2018). He is also the Communications & Community Manager at The Nursery Theatre, a London-based improvisational theatre company with students, performers and audiences spread out across the world. He also reviews theatre and art experiences for the UK-based platform North West End UK. As an actor and director, Gaurav is a performer and founding member of The Living Room Collective and El Clavileno, the latter being India’s only Spanish language theatre group. He previously worked at one of the oldest and most prominent cultural institutions in Delhi, the Little Theatre Group (LTG) Auditorium as a consultant, overseeing their marketing operations and curating programs for their new black box studio, The Blank Canvas. His acting credits include Yasmine Reza’s Art, Manav Kaul’s Peele Scooter Waala Aadmi, Kristo Sagor’s Threesome Without Simone and Jorge Luis Borges’ Funes The Memorious, among other work in Hindi, English, and Spanish. He has previously directed plays like Alvaro Leal’s Luz Negra, Badal Sircar’s Juloos and Footnotes, inspired by Yasmine Reza’s Art. He has performed at festivals like ReConnect (2020), Old World Theatre Festival (2019), AlmagroOFF Classical Theatre Festival (2019), Thespo (2017) and has received recognition at numerous educational institutions with the collegiate theatre society Fourth Wall Productions. As a freelance marketer, Gaurav has worked with brands like Atlan, SocialCops, Josh Talks, Parallel, FreshMenu, among others, in various capacities and occasionally offers marketing, digital and creative consulting services. He has an undergraduate degree in Management Studies from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), University of Delhi with a specialization in marketing (Class of 2016).
Ramita Menon has worked extensively as a facilitator and teacher with a diverse background in improvisation, movement therapy and yoga. With a strong focus on creating safe spaces to build tolerance and empathy, Ramita hopes to engage people to hear and be heard in as many ways as possible to increase the shared understanding of human experiences and complexities. Drawing from elements of yoga , therapeutic movement, contemporary dance techniques and improvisation, Ramita has worked with diverse groups such as shelter homes, professional dancers and theatre artists, mental health professionals and universities. Her approach uses movement and theatre to foster a more forgiving environment that encourages taking risks and working as a team. Ramita has worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language in a secondary school in Spain for two years as part of a government exchange scholarship using elements of improvisation to improve communication within her students. Working with Kaivalya Plays, Ramita has been the manager for the online improv to teach Spanish program conducting various online sessions and training and leading a group of facilitators. Further, she has been a facilitator in the online improv to teach hindi course at Vanderbilt university. She has also facilitated other workshops in improvisation and leadership through movement as a part of Kaivalya Plays. She has also successfully performed in and choreographed staged productions in multiple languages. Ramita has had the privilege of working with a diverse range of clients, including organisations such as Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, CMTAI (Creative Movement Therapy Association of India), Kaivalya Plays, the Vedica Scholars, Instituto Cervantes, Embassy of Argentina, and Vanderbilt University. In addition to her work in arts, Ramita is currently working as a freelance Spanish teacher at the Spanish cultural centre in New Delhi and continues to research the limits of applied improvisation in this setting. This opportunity gives her a chance everyday to connect with, inspire and learn from her students who come from diverse backgrounds and walks of life with a shared goal and dream.
sukriti is a performance studies scholar from ambedkar university delhi. she is an academician, a theatre actor and director, an arts educator and facilitator, a freelance artist, a poet and a freestyle dancer, constantly trying to detangle the blurred lines of her identity and the society through art.
Riddhijit is a Producer, Director, Actor, Documentary Filmmaker and Voice-over Artist. He is presently working with Banyan Infomedia as an Assistant Producer (2021 -). As a theatre artist, he has been associated with Jana Natya Manch since 2021. Theatre has been a part of his life since he was 10-11 years old. Riddhijit is also an amateur filmmaker. Last year, he made a documentary about the 2022 Shadipur Natak Utsav and about how kids play an important role in carrying theatre forward. Other than that he has worked as an Assistant Director and Filmmaker for various short films.
Vidit Singh is a writer, director and actor. He graduated from Ashoka University with a degree in Literature and a minor in Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys working across the medium of film and theatre, often attempting to blend the practices of both. He is also a literary translator and takes a keen interest in the craft of adaptation, having directed two Indian renditions of Shakespeare’s plays in college. Currently, he is developing a feature-film script and exploring new practices of theatre.
Kaustubh Rajwade has worked extensively as a facilitator and teacher with a diverse background in Environmental research, Education, Spanish interpretation-translation and Improvisation. Kaustubh focuses on creating immersive learning environments focussed on critical thinking and dialogue. Using his expertise in the field of environment,interpretation and education, Kaustubh has worked with diverse groups such as environmental NGOs, Spanish institutes, multinational companies and universities. His approach engages learners to develop creative solutions in different situations. Kaustubh has worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language in a primary and secondary school in Spain for two years as part of a government exchange scholarship using elements of improvisation to improve communication within his students. Working with Kaivalya Plays, Kaustubh has attended improvisation courses and facilitated online spanish improv sessions. Furthermore, he has been a visiting faculty for Environmental Sciences at various organisations. His keen interest in environmental issues and work in rural Maharashtra have helped build his ability to connect with and be approachable for people from all social backgrounds. Kaustubh has had the privilege of working with a diverse range of clients, including organisations such as ThyssenKrupp Elevators,Matrici S.Coop, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, IBM Jnana Prabodhini Prashala, College of Engineering, Pune, School of Fashion Technology,Pune, Instituto Hispania and Instituto Cervantes. Kaustubh is currently working as a freelance teacher at the Spanish Embassy’s cultural wing, Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi where he innovates new methods of teaching and learning with a practical and proactive approach.
Shubhra is on her journey to become a performing artist with her interests in theatre, Kathak and singing. She was a part of Abhivyakti—the dramatics society of Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University between 2001 and 2003. She acted in several college productions that used techniques and methodologies from the genre of third theatre. These productions were adaptations from stories of Mahasweta Devi’s Budhan, Vishakhadatta’s Mudrarakshasa and Gulzar’s Khauf often interspersed with poetry from Paash, Dhoomil, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ghalib. Later, she also worked in a solo production highlighting the challenges of fisherwomen in Kerala, which was an adaptation from Matsyaganddhi written by Malayalam playwright M. Sajitha. Shubhra is now performing in her first professional theatre production with Kaivalya Plays. She is also learning Kathak and has given several Kathak performances since the beginning of 2023. She recently scored a first division in Kathak from Prayag Sangeet Samiti Allahabad in the first year examination, and is also pursuing her passion for singing. Shubhra is currently working as a freelance business content writer to keep her creative self alive.
Media & Gallery
Media & Gallery
Partners & Collaborators
Partners & Collaborators
About Kaivalya Plays
Kaivalya Plays is a performing arts and production company led by Varoon P. Anand as its Artistic Director and Gaurav Singh Nijjer as its General Manager. With its root in the cultural capital of India, New Delhi, the group has created innovative artistic experiences with a focus on community-building. Since 2018, Kaivalya Plays has built upon a foundation of applied improvisation to create original work focused on mental health and performer safety, as well as pioneering technological innovation in the performing arts. In 2018, Kaivalya Plays received the Refunction Grant from the Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan to create Unravel, an improvised performance that argued for the mental health benefits of theatre games. This further evolved into a year-long workshop programme titled HEADSPACE, accessible to anyone that continues until the present day. Alongside this work, we became interested in investigating and creating resources for performer safety and In 2020, Kaivalya Plays launched the Safety Research Study, a first-of-its-kind research project which was funded a year later by the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA). In the past year, they received the C3: Codes, Creativity & Community grants from the Goethe-Institut India and BeFantastic to develop two web platforms, namely the India Arts Funding Forum (www.artsfunding.in) which is an open source forum for Indian artists to discover funding opportunities, receive feedback on applications to build a transparent art funding ecosystem and the India Arts Education Forum (www.artseducation.in) which is an open-source, community-led platform that democratises access to arts education and training in India. For more information, visit www.kaivalyaplays.org
About Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi
The Instituto Cervantes is a public institution founded in 1991 by the Government of Spain, with the aim of promoting Spanish language teaching, and fostering knowledge of Spanish and Hispanic American culture. Currently, the Institute has 78 centers located in 44 countries. Its main headquarters are in Madrid and in Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes.
Given that Spanish is the 2nd most widely-used language for international communication in areas such as finance, culture and science, in addition to being a language that facilitates job opportunities, the Instituto Cervantes is the reference for quality in the promotion and dissemination of Spanish-speaking culture.
Our website offers all the language-related issues requested by students as well as by people connected with our language.
Hence, their objectives and purposes are as follows:
To organize general and special Spanish courses, as well as courses in Spain’s co-official languages.
To organize the exams for the Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera: DELE), as well as to issue official certificates and diplomas on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training.
To be up-to-date in our teaching methods and in the training of professors.
To support the work done by Hispanists.
To participate in programs that aim to promote the Spanish language.
To carry out cultural promotion activities in collaboration with other Spanish and Hispanic American organizations, as well as with host country organizations.
To place libraries equipped with the latest technology, at the disposal of the public.
The work of the Instituto Cervantes is guided by representatives of the scholarly, cultural and literary communities of Spain and Hispanic America. In New Delhi, the Institute collaborates with museums, galleries, theaters, publishers, and other Indian cultural institutions, as well as institutions from Spain and Latin America.
The Instituto Cervantes opened its doors in New Delhi in 2007 and since then thousands of students have learnt Spanish at its facilities, in person, as well as through videoconferences. Likewise, it has been an important space in the social and cultural life of New Delhi, offering a wide variety of exhibitions, concerts, talks, films, etc.
The center also has one of the main Spanish libraries in the city, the Juan Ramón Jiménez Library, which offers a wide collection of literature, audiovisual material and films in Spanish. In addition, it has a resource center for learning and teaching Spanish as a second language.
bottom of page