Actor Saurabh Shukla is set to return to theatre with the play "Jab Khuli Kitaab". His performances in Subhash Kapoor's film "Jolly LLB", Anurag Basu's "Barfi!" and Raj Kumar Gupta's "Raid" have brought the house down.

"I have been acting on television, stage and in cinema for almost 40 years. That the roles you've mentioned have got me wider recognition is purely incidental. Subhash, Anurag and Raj Kumar Gupta are directors who give me the freedom to improvise. They've faith in my abilities. That always helps," he said.

Bringing a variation into a stereotypical role comes easily to Saurabh. "In fact, I am shooting for a film called 'Thakurganj' in Lucknow right now. I play a corrupt politician which is as stereotypical as it gets. One has to look for ways to rejuvenate oneself," said the actor.

This is where Saurabh's intermittent stage stints come in. In "Jab Khuli Kitaab", he and actress Iravati Harshe play an elderly couple on the verge of an important decision.

"We play a couple who decide to get a divorce after decades of marriage. The interesting aspect of the relationship is how all the deception and lies peel off once they decide to go their separate ways," said Saurabh.

"They have nothing to lose any more. They become fearless. I had written the play as a screenplay. But it never got made into the promised film," he added.

What went wrong?

Saurabh explained: "Back then it was titled 'Barf'. The marital drama is set in Kashmir. I wrote it as a film script. But then it was felt by all concerned that a film about a relationship between an ageing couple won't work as a film.

"So I re-wrote the entire play as a film, converted the format. It works fine as a play. But I am hoping some enterprising producer or director would see the play and decide to take it back where its was meant to be originally."

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