GREAT TEXTS READING

(On the last Monday of every month, people meet to read a play they may have heard of but not necessarily have read. Writers come to see how the greats wrote, actors come to play multiple parts and theatre lovers come because it keeps them in touch with the art form. It is open to all and everyone takes turns in playing characters from the play. Discussions ensue after over squash and biscuits.)






The final play in our season of plays by female playwrights, we will be reading one by Carmen Aguirre. Aguirre is a Vancouver-based actress and writer, who has written over 20 stage plays to date, including In a Land Called I Don't Remember, Chile Con Carne, The Trigger and The Refugee Hotel. The last one is our pick from the library.

Last month we read Ruined by Lynn Nottage. The response was overwhelming with around 30 people and caved a path for a lot of interesting discussion. The readers talked about all the characters in depth and there were comparisons made to other popular plays.  


For venue details and more, contact us on +91-9769145101. The plays will be read 26th June at 7:30pm.








In the ongoing season of plays by female writers, we will be reading a play by American playwright Wendy Wasserstein. The play in question, The Heidi Chronicles won her multiple awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the year 1989. Her plays explore topics ranging from feminism to family to ethnicity to pop culture and she is also well-known for her screenplays, books, papers and essays.

For venue details and more, contact us on +91-9769145101. The plays will be read 29th May at 7:30pm.






The series of English shows of 'White Rabbit Red Rabbit' in India came to an end in the most unexpected way, as ten people gathered at the Great Text Readings and were handed two copies of the script (a male version and a female version) in a room set for what could've been another show (surprise!). The audience participated wholeheartedly amidst much excitement and a vibrant discussion followed!

This month, we begin a new season of plays with a play by female playwrights with Chimerica by British dramatist Lucy Kirkwood. It addresses the the predominance of China and America in modern geopolitics. Lucy Kirkwood won an Evening Standard Award for Best Play and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. 
For venue details and more, contact us on +91-9769145101. The plays will be read 24th April at 7:30pm.





Last month, the plays that were read were 'The American Dream' and 'Sandbox' as a part of our season of plays by the playwright Edward Albee. Albee is known for his absurd story writing and short plays. There were about 12 people at the reading. At the end of the reading we discussed absurdist theatre and storylines, and their relevance to other media like movies and music videos; how even though there are mentions of clichés and stereotypes in absurdist drama, there are also times when one doesn't understand where the story might actually be going.

That brought us to the end of our current season of plays. In March, GTR plans a surprise for it's attendees! This is the first time in all the years of Great Text Readings that the next play isn't being revealed (and we must say, the secret is being kept rather well). Curious? Well, see you at the next reading then and let's uncover the surprise together! 
For venue details and more, contact us on +91-9769145101. The plays will be read 27th March at 7:30pm.












This season we are reading plays by accomplished playwright Edward Albee. He was remembered as one of the foremost playwrights of his generation, known for his distinctive use of language while challenging audiences to examine the suffering caused by conventional, artificial social traditions.

In January, we read Albee's The Zoo Story and The Death Of Bessie Smith. The reading had a fantastic turnout and a great discussion. The readers discussed topics like political influence on Albee's writing and Theatre of the Absurd in America and Britain.

This month we read yet another two plays - The American Dream and The Sandbox. We have now moved back into our usual home for readings near the QTP office in Versova. For venue details and more, contact us on +91-9769145101. The plays will be read 27th February at 7:30pm.






In June, we read Hangmen by Martin McDonagh. An exciting fact about this reading was the all of those who attended were actors. The play with its light and funny tone as it takes on the very serious topic of execution makes it a very enjoyable read. The reading was followed by a constructive discussion about the ethics of Capital Punishment and soon we were talking about issues like Ajmal Kasab, Afzal Guru and topics like Judicial Murder as well.

After a successful season of Royal Court readings with that, we will now be reading plays by the Shaffer twins - Peter Shaffer and Anthony - both legends in their own right. Peter Shaffer, who passed away in June an award-winning playwright and the very first reading will be one of his plays.

This month we will be reading Equus, written in 1973 and awarded Best Play at the Tony Awards in 1975. The play is a story of a psychologist attempting to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses.

The play will be read on 25th July at 7:30pm. This month the Great Text Readings will have a change in the venue (not very far from the usual one) to the new QTP office. For venue details and more, contact us on +91-7506164565




To celebrate the wonderful work done by Writers' Bloc (WB) in partnership with the Royal Court Theatre (RCT), we will read RCT plays for the next season of the Great Text Readings. RCT has been at the forefront of discovering and nurturing new writers like John Osborne, Christopher Hampton, Athol Fugard and Sam Shepard since 1956.

Our May reading of plays by Caryl Churchill saw a very good turnout. So enthusiastic were the readers that after the reading of the previously planned Faraway, happened an impromptu read of A Number - another Caryl Churchill play! Needless to say, a lot of productive discussion followed both the plays!

The play for June is Hangmen by Martin McDonagh. It was first performed on September 10, 2015 at RCT and was directed by Matthew Dunster. It is set in a small pub in Oldham, and tells the story of Harry who is something of a local celebrity there. But what’s the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they have abolished hanging? Among cub reporters and sycophantic pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, a peculiar stranger lurks, with a very different motive for his visit.

The play will be read on 26th June at 7:30pm.

May 2016

To celebrate the wonderful work being done by Writers' Bloc (WB) in partnership with the Royal Court Theatre (RCT), we will read RCT plays for the next season of the Great Text Readings. RCT has been at the forefront of discovering and nurturing new writers like John Osborne, Christopher Hampton, Athol Fugard and Sam Shepard since 1956.

Our first RCT play for Great Text Reading was The Djinns of Eidgah. The turnout of readers was decent in numbers and high in enthusiasm. The reading was followed by an exciting discussion on the play, its themes and Kashmir.

The second play of the season will be Far Away by Caryl Churchill. The play will be read on 30th May at 7:30pm. The 2000 play was published by Nick Herns Books and first produced at RCT. It has since been produced several times across the globe. The play follows the lives of four main characters and is based on the premise of a world in which everything in nature is at war.

April 2016

To celebrate the wonderful work being done by Writers' Bloc (WB) in partnership with the Royal Court Theatre (RCT), we will read RCT plays for the next season of the Great Text Readings. RCT has been at the forefront of discovering and nurturing new writers like John Osborne, Christopher Hampton, Athol Fugard and Sam Shepard since 1956.

The first play of the season was Abhishek Majumdar's Djinns Of Eidgah which premiered at WB3 in 2012 and subsequently published by RCT. The reading took place on Monday, 24 April at 7:30pm. The turnout of readers was decent in numbers but high in enthusiasm and the reading was followed by an exciting discussion on the play, its themes and Kashmir.

About the play: 
Ashrafi and Bilal are orphaned siblings stranded and defined by the troubles in Kashmir. 18 year old Bilal is the pride of the region, part of a teenage football team set for great heights, and pushed to the limits by the violence around them. Haunted by hope, his sister is caught in the past, and Bilal is torn between escaping the myths of war and the cycles of resistance.



March, 2016

‘Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination.’
In March, we conclude our season of plays about Christianity with George Bernard Shaw’s St. Joan. This 1924 play is a dramatized version of the life and the trial of Joan of Arc. In the 90 years and more since it was written, it has been the subject of much debate, appreciation and criticism. It is often referred to as ‘a tragedy without a villain’ and holds a special place in Shaw’s repertoire as the only one in this genre.


November, 2015 to February, 2016
As part of the season of Historical plays, we read Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo (Nov. ‘15), John Osborne’s Luther (Jan. ‘16) and Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons (Feb. ‘16). While the first play received a very lukewarm response in terms of attendance, the latter readings saw more enthusiastic participants. However, all three readings were followed by very interesting discussions and interactions about the texts as well as the theme. 

October, 2015
Please note: We will take a break in October and return with a reading for November. Ideas on themes and titles for the next season are most welcome. 

July to September, 2015
We just concluded the season of Violent plays with Martin MacDonagh's A Behanding In Spokane. We not only had a wonderful turn out for this month's reading, we were also lucky to have Abhishek Saha from Le Chayim's production of the play. It was the closing of the season of Violent plays and by the end of it people marveled at the deeply contorted mind of Martin MacDonagh. 

We also read Sarah Kane's Blasted and Raimondo Cortese's Blown Youth. Both plays were followed by very interesting conversations about the challenges of authentically protraying sexual acts and violence live on stage.

June, 2015

We conclude the season of Digital Drama's by reading Enda Walsh's 'Chatroom' - five teenagers who meet on the internet and encourage each other's bad behaviour.

Enda Walsh (born 1967) is an Irish playwright. Born in Dublin, Walsh lives in London. Since he moved to London in 2005 he has been particularly prolific, bringing his productions to nineteen stage plays, two radio plays, three screenplays and one musical for which he won a Tony Award. He has written the musical Once, an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Once, which appeared off-Broadway in December 2011 and January 2012 and transferred to Broadway from March 2012 and to London's West End from March 2013: it has won numerous awards, including 8 Tony Awards, a Grammy Award and 2 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Chatroom was written in 2005. The story is about Jim (Steven Croall), a depressed teenager who's thinking of killing himself, and how his venturing into cyberspace affects his decision.
The six teenage characters communicate only via the internet. Conversations range in subject from Britney Spears to Willy Wonka to — suicide: Jim is depressed and talks of ending his life and Eva and William decide to do their utmost to persuade him to carry out his threat. From this chilling premise is forged a funny, compelling and uplifting play that tackles the issues of teenage life head-on and with great understanding. 
"An impressive number of themes... handled in commendably non-dogmatic style... A triumph." - London Evening Standard
We will be reading on Monday, 29th of June. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456

May, 2015

To continue with the season of Digital Drama's, this month we will be reading Phoebe Eclair Powell's 'Wink' - exploring what it means to be a real man.

Phoebe Eclair-Powell is a writer from South East London. Her plays include WINK (Theatre503); One Under (Pleasance Below); Mrs Spine (OUTLINES at the Old Red Lion); Bangin’ Wolves (Courting Drama at the Bush Upstairs, published by Playdead Press, later with Poleroid Theatre for Wilderness Festival); two rapid write response pieces, Coal Eaters and Glass Hands (Theatre503); The Box (Theatre Delicatessen SPACED festival and Latitude Festival); Elephant and My Castle (SALT Theatre at Southwark Playhouse); CARE (Miniaturists at the Arcola).


Wink, is a chokingly funny and thoroughly entertaining, Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s debut play delves into the real and online lives of two young males. Mark is 16, emotionally disconnected from his grieving family after the sudden death of his father, and doesn’t quite fit in at his private school where he’s on a sports scholarship. John is the French teacher whose good looks and swagger make him an object of fascination to Mark, who wants to be just like the older man.

We will be reading on Monday, 25th of May. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456


April, 2015

Time for a new season!! This time it is Digital Drama's. We begin by reading Jennifer Haley's 'The Nether' - an award winning sci-fi thriller that delves into the consequences of exploring our darkest dreams.

Jennifer Haley is an award-winning American playwright. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas and now lives in Los Angeles. Haley has worked with Center Theatre Group, the Royal Court Theatre, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, American Conservatory Theater, Theater 150, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, The Banff Centre, Sundance Theatre Lab, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Lark Play Development Center, Sacred Fools Theatre, PlayPenn, Page 73, and the MacDowell Colony. She is a member of New Dramatists and the founder of LA's Playwrights Union. In addition to her work for the theatre, Haley writes for the Netflix original series Hemlock Grove.

The Nether is a play written by American playwright Jennifer Haley and directed by Jeremy Herrin. The Nether is currently on a 12-week run at London's Duke of York's Theatre. It is a Headlong and Royal Court co-production, presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott M. Delman and Tulchin Bartner Productions.

The Nether is a crime drama set in the year 2050. The internet has evolved into something called The Nether, a virtual wonderland where people can log in and escape the morals and laws associated with the real world. Detective Morris must investigate one particular Nether realm called The Hideaway causing her to explore the consequences associated with making dreams a reality.

We will be reading on Monday, 27th of April. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456



March, 2015

To conclude our LGBTQ season, we will be reading Larry Kramer's 'The Normal Heart' - focuses on the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gay founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group.

Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935) is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his 1978 novel Faggots. The book earned mixed reviews but emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for his one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.


Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease later known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among his friends in 1980. He co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985. His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS (PWAs), and raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases. Kramer has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me (1992), and has been a two-time recipient of the Obie Award.

The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal.

Produced by Joseph Papp and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the play opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater on April 21, 1985, and ran for 294 performances. The original cast included Brad Davis as Ned and D. W. Moffett as Felix, with David Allen Brooks as Bruce Niles and Concetta Tomei as Dr. Emma Brookner (based on Linda Laubenstein, M.D.). Joel Grey replaced Davis later in the run. The play received its European premiere in 1986 at London's Royal Court Theatre where it was directed by David Hayman and produced by Bruce Hyman. In that production Ned Weeks was initially played by Martin Sheen who received an Olivier Award nomination as Best Actor. When it transferred to the Albery Theatre (now the Noël Coward theatre) Ned Weeks was played by Tom Hulce and then John Shea. For that production Paul Jesson, who played Felix, won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role.

In a student production of the play at Cambridge University in 1988, the role of Felix was played by Nick Clegg. On April 18, 1993, Barbra Streisand organized and introduced a benefit reading for Broadway Cares at the Roundabout Theatre Company (she had been slated to be in the film). It starred Kevin Bacon, John Turturro, Harry Hamlin, D.W. Moffett, Tony Roberts, David Drake, Kevin Geer, Eric Bogosian, Jonathan Hadary and Stockard Channing as Emma Brookner.

The Broadway premiere of The Normal Heart began on April 19, 2011, for a limited 12-week engagement at the Golden Theatre. This production used elements employed in a staged reading, directed by Joel Grey, held in October 2010. The cast featured Joe Mantello as Ned, Ellen Barkin (making her Broadway debut) as Dr. Brookner, John Benjamin Hickey as Felix, Lee Pace as Bruce Niles, and Jim Parsons as Tommy Boatwright (both Pace and Parsons made their Broadway debuts). Joel Grey made his Broadway directing debut; George C. Wolfe was supervising director. 

We will be reading on Monday, 30th of March. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456



February, 2015

In continuation with the LGBTQ season we will be reading Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America - Millennium Approaches' - Set in New York in 1985, a gay Jew has learnt that his lover, has AIDS.


Anthony Robert ‘Tony’ Kushner (born July 16, 1956) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993. He co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film ‘Munich’ and wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film ‘Lincoln’. He received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013.

Angels in America – Millennium Approaches is a 1993 Pulitzer Prize winning play in two parts. Millennium Approaches received its world premiere in May 1991. In London it premiered in the National Theatre. The play made its Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut in August 2013 to critical acclaim. Kushner prefers that the play be theatrically transparent, with minimal scenery and scene shifts done rapidly (no blackouts!) employing the cast as well as stagehands – which makes for an actor – driven event. In 2003, HBO created a miniseries version of the play. The lead cast includes Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Jeffrey Wright and Mary Louise Parker.

We will be reading on Monday, 23rd of February. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456

January, 2015

We're back!!! After a long hiatus, we return with a new season of the Great Text. The season of 'LGBT'. We kickstart by reading Mart Crowley's 'The Boys in the Band' - Michael, a homosexual, has invited a number of friends to his birthday party. a 'straight' friend of his, alan, rings up and wants to see him. The result is a mixture of bitter humour and physical violence. Alan goes, leaving behind him the debris of the party.

Mart Crowley (born August 21, 1935) is an American playwright. Crowley was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After graduating from The Catholic University of America (Studying in acting and show business) in Washington, D.C. in 1957, Crowley headed west to Hollywood, where he worked for a number of television production companies before meeting Natalie Wood on the set of her film Splendor in the Grass. Wood hired him as her assistant, primarily to give him ample free time to work on his gay-themed play The Boys in the Band, which opened off-Broadway on April 14, 1968 and enjoyed a run of 1001 performances. Crowley became part of Wood's inner circle of friends that she called "the nucleus", whose main requirement was that they pass a "kindness" test. Crowley's sequel to The Boys in the Band was entitled The Men From The Boys. In 1979 and 1980, Crowley served first as the executive script editor and then producer of the ABC series Hart to Hart, starring Wood's husband Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. Other credits include the teleplays for There Must Be a Pony (1986), Bluegrass (1988), People Like Us (1990), and a Hart to Hart reunion special in 1996. Crowley has appeared in at least three documentaries: The Celluloid Closet (1995), about homosexuality and its depiction on screen throughout the years, Dominick Dunne: After the Party (2007), a biography of Crowley's friend and producer, Dominick Dunne, and Making the Boys (2011), a documentary about the making of The Boys in the Band.
Crowley is openly gay.

The Boys in the Band, The Off-Broadway production, directed by Robert Moore, opened on April 14, 1968 at Theater Four, where it ran for more than 1,000 performances. The cast included Kenneth Nelson as Michael, Peter White as Alan, Leonard Frey as Harold, Cliff Gorman as Emory, Frederick Combs as Donald, Laurence Luckinbill as Hank, Keith Prentice as Larry, Robert La Tourneaux as Cowboy, and Reuben Greene as Bernard.

When The Boys in the Band premiered in 1968, mainstream audiences were shocked. In the same year, a two-disc vinyl LP set was released, containing the full dialogue of the play voiced by the original actors. In 1970, it was adapted for a motion picture directed by William Friedkin. In 2004, David Anthony Fox from Philadelphia City Paper praised this play, its one-liners, and its live performance in Philadelphia. He rebutted criticism that the play portrayed "urban gay men as narcissistic, bitter, shallow". In 2010, Elyse Summer from CurtainUp website called it a "smart gimmick" full of dated "self-homophobic, low self-esteem characters". In the same year, Steve Weinstein from the Edge website called it "Shakespearean"

We will be reading on Monday, 26th January. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456 


October, 2014

Owing to Tata Literature Live!, we will not be having the Great Text this month. But we will be back in November!!

September, 2014

Concluding with the season of 'Nature Play's', in September, we will be reading Andrew Bovell's 'When the Rain stops Falling' - an epic play spanning four generations and two continents.

Andrew Bovell (born 23 November 1962) is an Australian writer for theatre, film and television. Bovell was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and, until recently, lived in Adelaide, South Australia, before moving to New York. He has recently moved back to the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. His AWGIE award-winning play, Speaking in Tongues, (1996) has been seen throughout Australia as well as in Europe and the US and Bovell adapted it for the screen as Lantana (2001). Bovell also co-wrote the screenplay for Strictly Ballroom (1992) with Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce and Head On (1998) with Mira Robertson and Ana Kokkinos. His other films credits include Edge of Darkness (2010) starring Mel Gibson and The Book of Revelation (2006).


When the Rain Stops Falling, written in 2008, moves from the claustrophobia of a 1950s London flat to the windswept coast of Southern Australia and into the heart of the Australian desert. the play weaves together a series of interconnected stories, as seven people confront their mysteries of the past in oder to understand their future, revealing how patterns of betrayal, love and abandonment are passed on, until finally, well into the future, as the desert is inundated with rain, one young man finds the courage to defy the legacy. 

We will be reading on Monday, 29th September. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456 


August, 2014

Continuing with the season of 'Nature Play's', this month will be reading William Shakespeare 'King Lear' - King Lear descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all.

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.


King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.
Originally drafted between 1603 and its first known performance in 1607, the first attribution to Shakespeare was a 1608 publication in quarto of uncertain provenance; it may be an early draft or simply reflect the first performance text. The Tragedy of King Lear, a more theatrical revision, was included in the 1623 First Folio. After the Restoration, the play was often revised with a happy ending for audiences who disliked its dark and depressing tone, but since the 19th century Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear".

We will be reading on Monday, 25th August. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456 

July, 2014 

New Seaon!! Literally! With the change in the season, we decided to start the season of 'Nature Plays'. 


The theme is to read plays where some aspect of nature plays an important role in the plot, or the setting etc.We start by reading Swar Thounaojam's 'Turel' - set on the riverbanks of Manipur, a place used as a burial ground, where an eccentric Luwangcha meets the old, hunched Eigya, forming a friendship that could survive gunshots, explosions and floods.

Turel is a highly acclaimed play which premiered at the Writers’ Bloc festival in 2007 and was directed by Sunil Shanbag.

Eigya’s son Ibungo and his daughter in-law Ibemma live with him, and are fascinated by Luwangcha who is too busy sliding on benches and taking dips in the river to even notice. She is almost trying to preserve the childhood of all the children who are in deep sleep, wrapped within the folds of mud. Even though Eigya may laugh and not let Luwangcha touch his precious conch, he likes to watch her collecting dewdrops, beating transience and challenging the finite, only because she always dreamt of making love to her wife on a bed made with just dew-wrapped grass.  

We will be reading on Monday, 28th July. For directions, contact QTP on 7506025456