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The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee, 2013-14

Bertolt Brecht’s THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI is an infamous parable about Hitler rise to power, written right under his very nose. The DSM was inspired by it to create Cutter Chee at a significant time in India’s contemporary political history. The general elections were round the corner and the country’s artistic community was divided between the need for development and the future of individual freedom.

The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee traces the entirely avoidable ascension of a small time gangster who rises through the ranks of the dons and bhais of Mumbai’s thug landscape. Cutter is a chintu clown of a man, yet his tactics of opportunism, coercion and manipulation eventually make him the terrifying leader of the city’s underbelly. The student ensemble worked with British director Ben Samuels to present Cutter Chee in the world the world of 1970s Bollywood gangster films highlighting the nexus between construction magnates, politicians and the mafia.

The performance was part of the DSM inaugural double bill, performed by the students of the first One Year Certificate Course.

About the Director: Ben Samuels

Ben Samuels is an award-winning director, writer and performer. He studied theatre and cultural history at Brown University (USA), and received his MFA at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), where he was supported by a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for Theatre Arts. As the Artistic Director of Limbik, he wrote and performed in the company’s first two shows The Harbour and Ghost Town, directed their next two projects, The Messenger and The Forecast.

His solo show, Fatherland, explores the intersection of real-time motion capture and immersive virtual reality technology with live theatre. It was one of five national projects supported by the UK’s Digital Catapult Creative XR programme. Other Directing work includes: Gael Le Cornec’s “The Other” and “Kitchen”; “The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee” (Drama School Mumbai, India); The Science Gallery London’s interactive “Blood Bikers;” and Assistant Director to Andrew Dawson for Redcape’s “The Idiot Colony.”

As an Associate Director at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, he created ten productions with Performing Arts students, often focusing on re-writing and re-imagining classic texts.  He currently regularly directs Music Theatre productions for the London College of Music.

Ben performed nationally and internationally with theatre companies such as Fix&Foxy, Likely Story, Barnstorm, Nutkhut, Theatre of Europe, Decollage, and Lemonade and Laughing Gas, and played mandolin for a decade with the UK’s hardest working klezmer-balkan-gypsy band, She’koyokh.

This production was made possible by a production grant from Max Muller Bhavan/Goethe-Institut Mumbai.

Media Coverage:

Production Poster

The Production Poster for the Curious Climb of Cutterchee

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