A platform that gives various artistes the chance to express their art forms and audiences the chance to experience it all at once, Chaw Chaw Bath is the right amount of the so-called masala that helps jazz up rather intense theatre.
Driven by passion, Chaw Chaw Bath (CCB) understands the much-needed relief a serious play requires. The added bonus is an assemblage of diverse gigs for art lovers who wouldn't have to travel to different venues or buy multiple tickets to be part of what they love.
This Bengaluru-based theatre platform, aptly named Chaw Chaw Bath, after a South Indian dish known for its different flavour combinations, was founded by Akmal Basha (28) under the youth-driven team ‘a’ Productions group.
In order to introduce the concept of wholesome entertainment that covers all genres of stage performances, each show organised by CCB thus far is an amalgamation of theatre, storytelling, poetry, monologues, plays, stand-up comedy as well music. This not only caters to varying interests of art lovers altogether but also keeps the atmosphere at a high with its variety.
The craze to act without inhibitions was Akmal’s dream ever since he was a teenager in college. “I come from Hubballi in Karnataka where acting opportunities aren't vast. Since my family's financial background wasn't strong either, my dream to be an actor did not unfold immediately.”
After completing his MCA, Akmal made his way to Bengaluru to pursue his dream. Like any other struggling actor, he went through a number of auditions to bag small roles in serials. “I then ventured out into theatre for a change and found my real passion,” he says.
After working with a number of local theatre production groups, Akmal came to realise that what theatre lacked was holistic entertainment. “A play at times can be intense and can fall short on entertainment in the commercial sense, but if a show is a blend of different art forms, it is engrossing,” he elucidates.
Also adding that in Bengaluru if one had to see different art forms he/she would have to visit different places, Akmal says, “For plays, there are specific auditoriums; for storytelling, there are certain locations. But no art group promises all art forms under one stage. Hence, for art lovers looking for a mix, CCB caters to them.”
With this vision, the idea of CCB came into being in 2015. Akmal then worked on this concept of bringing various artistes together under one common stage for six months. Their first show successfully went live in January 2016. Funded by a group of professionals, it included a play in English, Hindi and Kannada as well as a mime and a stand-up comedy act. Today, Akmal is the event director of CCB and co-founder of Team ‘a’ Productions, which runs this theatre initiative.
Passion and fervour is what energises the group at CCB. “We have a core group of talented artistes having full-time jobs in IT, media and other sectors. What brings them together is their common passion for arts,” says Akmal.
CCB has conducted eight shows so far and has three upcoming shows this year. Looking to provide quality entertainment across all genres in a flexible manner, CCB has also recently performed versions of shows focussing on women monologues and empowerment. They're also working on full-length plays, all men-shows, workshops with corporates and schools, to expand and reach out to other specific audiences in the future. Tapping into various genres, their possibilities at the moment are limitless compared to one-dimensional work done by other theatre groups.
CCB has also been a hit with their audiences. A full house at all times, they have repeat audiences who closely follow most shows. But what is most important is,
they bring together creative individuals from different walks of life with the common goal of entertaining fans and in the process help bring out the inner talent of their audiences. Theirs has been a two-way impact, inspiring both performers and lovers of art.