For veteran Bollywood comedian Govardhan Asrani, whose rib-tickling humour has powered many films, theatre continues to offer the best platform to hone acting skills.
An alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Asrani who featured in big films like Sholay and Bol Bachchan keeps returning to his first love theatre.
"When I was in film institute stage plays were compulsory part of our training. We began with Shakespeare, Premchand and other good plays. After moving to Bombay I continued working in plays at the Rabindranath Tagore Auditorium where once Prithvi Raj Kapoor was the chief guest," says Asrani.
The actor who immortalised the character of ‘Angrezon ke zamaane ka jailor’ in the 1975 blockbuster Sholay considers theatre as a part of his life.
"The stage is one place where you come face to face with your audience unlike cinemas where you cannot see the applause or the booing by the audience. Theatre gives you an altogether different kind of thrill which every actor who wants to grow must try," he says.
The veteran comedian who in 2014 paired up with actress Padmini Kohlapure for the stage production Baap ka Baap is now featuring in Kya Family Hai a play set to be staged in Gurgaon tomorrow.
"I got busy with films and found it difficult to devote time to theatre. I waiting for a good script, good producers and company to make a comeback on stage," he says.