In Bharat Dabholkar’s directorial comic satire play Bottoms Up, the spunky 20-something Rupali is playing the Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi with a difference.
She grins, smiles, takes taunts chin up, and once in a while, even flips her hair in support of her son in those stylish spectacles and crisp articulately worn cotton sarees. Asked how a chirpy bouncy gal like her would be able to convincingly balance the act of playing the rather-serious-looking Ms Gandhi with that touch of chirpy undercurrent, Rupali winks as she counter-questions, “Isn’t that what being an actress is all about?”
The play is not actually a new one, but a refreshed reboot from its iconic super-successful 1980’s version with a new cast. Produced by Ashvin Gidwani Productions; a global theatre-producing company with a strong footprint in Asia, Africa, Middle East, UK and USA, the cast includes Ananth Mahadaven, Kunal Vijaykar, Amit Roy, Mohan Azaad, Kavita Kapur, Bhavna Pani and Sneha Chavan.
So does Rupali expect the ‘inadvertent’ controversy springing up with her characterization of Sonia Gandhi? She raises her eyebrows and prefers to stay mum at that question.
But her publicist Dale Bhagwagar chips in and says, “The Indian National Congress is well-known for being one of the world’s largest democratic political organizations. Moreover, it advocates tolerance all over our television sets every second day. Why would there be any controversy?”
We wonder if that could be taken as a typical PR answer, or if he really means it! More than that, we wonder about the play’s title tagline which screams ‘X-Rated’!