MUMBAI: Marathi general entertainment channel, Star Pravah, is gearing up for a new show format which draws upon Marathi folk theatre, where the narrator-cum-actor (sutradhar) speaks to audiences and brings up socio-political issues in a fun way.
Called Dhabal – Ek Taas Time Paas, the show is set to replace the soon-to-end The Supriya Sachin Show, 12 May onwards. Marathi actor Swapnil Joshi will play host, narrator and actor in the show that will air every Monday and Tuesday at 9:30 pm. ‘Dhabal’ in Marathi means a place for youngsters to hang out. Dhabal – Ek Taas Time Paas will be a situational comedy with elements of fiction and non-fiction, and will discuss contemporary issues in the form of a skit.
According to Shrirang Godbole, chairman and MD of Indian Magic Eye, which has produced and conceptualised the show, “The root of this show is in the folk theatre format in Maharashtra, in which narrators speak to audiences and bring up political issues.” Godbole is the scriptwriter-producer-director of Dhabal – Ek Taas Time Paas, and has four other writers assisting him.
Programming head Jayesh Patil of Star Pravah, says, “This is a fresh concept and we are looking at bringing it as a seasonal show. This way, it gives good space to experiment with content and genre.”
Dhabal – Ek Taas Time Paas will run for 26 episodes, following which, Star Pravah plans to come out with another new show to replace the one-hour slot.
Shooting is in full swing at Filmcity, Goregaon, Mumbai and nearly four episodes have been canned. A studio equipped with nine HD cameras is used twice a week for the show; two episodes are shot in one day and the second day is used for rehearsals. One hundred and thirty two people are part of the production team working on the show. The set has been designed by freelancer Shyam Bhatia while costumes have been designed by Shrirang’s wife, Deepa Godbole.
Sources peg the cost of the entire show at around Rs 4 crore, with the set itself costing approximately Rs 35 lakh and cost of producing each episode about Rs 15 lakh.
On the cards is a big marketing plan that will soon unfold across the state, including contests inviting people to attend a Dhabal organized by Star Pravah in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur with characters modeled on the show taking up pertinent issues. Winners will get to watch Dhaba- Ek Taas Time Paas live and understand its format. The contests are slated to begin in a couple of days and will be conducted in various auditoria. Presently, the focus is on the digital space, though closer to the launch, radio and print campaigns will be rolled out. 3 May onwards, ads will do the rounds of other Marathi channels.