Friday, February 17, 2006

Deccan Herald Theatre Festival -I

been on a theatre-going binge recently. the newspaper my wife works for has asked her to cover the theatre festival they're sponsoring. so she gets to review five plays over five days. all the plays are being staged at the chowdaiah hall, in bangalore, from the 15th to the 19th of feb.
while she got a pass, i had to buy a ticket to watch these plays. but, guess what, my wife very generously offered to buy the tickets for me!:-)

so as of today, we've seen two plays, and there are three more to go. on wednesday we saw theatre group Kamayaa satge Boy Gets Girl. the first thing that comes to mind about that play is its duration: a full two-and-a-half hours! it was about this girl who stumbles into a blind date, and spends the rest of the play trying to get the persistent guy out of her life. she was drained at the end of it. so was the audience, i suspect! as for me, i didn't think much of it. the problem with it was that it was an american play, being staged by desis for namma bengaluru. the call-centre american accents were jarring. it felt like i was watching a bunch of very big school kids performing at a 'parents' day'. some of the actors on stage weren't entirely comfortable playing their american characters, and it was showing.

yesterday's play, on the other hand, was refreshingly good. Gnatak performed a French play (translated into english, and discovered by sean connery, it seems!) called Art. it's about this dermatologist who buys a plain white 'painting' for two hundred grand, and how it tests his friendship with his two friends. while one of the friends absolutely hates it, the other chap, a gentle soul, tries hard to be appreciative of it. it was hilarious. but sandwiched between the side-splitting lines, was the pathos of the soft guy: his inability to actually have an opinion on anything. instead, he spends his waking hours trying to build bridges with all around him. it was a great play, and the audience was roaring with laughter all through the play. so did they lose sight of the pathos amidst the hilarity, my wife wondered. i suspect the actors themselves had the same question on their minds at the end of the play!

Today, it's Boy Meets Girl presented by Centre for Film and Drama (CFD). hope to post about it in the near future.

ps: for tickets to saturday's(18th) and sunday's(19th) plays, call 25880179, 98458 24426 or 98454 52882.
all shows start at 7:30pm, Chowdaiah Hall, Bangalore.

the copy drinkers