It has been a long long time since myself and Anamika saw a reasonably good movie flick (or any movie for that matter). With Good Friday and a long weekend coming, we were looking for some KitKat-break options from work and behold! We find that the only bollywood option we have is Abhishek Bachchan’s Dum Maro Dum. However, even Deepika’s self-proclaimed ‘better-than-sheila’ number and Prateik’s looks couldn’t persuade us to watch one more AB Jr. dumber . Thankfully, I spotted a play in BookMyShow for the evening and the IHC (India Habitat Centre) memories of Delhi were revived. So we set off to our first theatre visit in Hyderabad.
The play : ‘April Fool’ was organized by My Theatre Cafe which’s a platform for artists of various fields (theatre, dance, music etc.). Ticket cost Rs. 100 per person. The location read : La Makaan – opposite to GVK One and adjacent to CBay building. If only any single soul (read Autowallahs and shopkeepers) knew about it We asked almost everyone on the way for its wherabouts and got the response like – “Lal Makaan?, Lal Bangla? GVK one is here only, CBill? (we replied the spelling – C B A Y) – CBA? no idea” …. And finally we saw the CBay building to our rescue. Even though there was no building adjacent to it, a God-sent person guided us to the narrow lane which lead to the La Makaan – which’s a Bungalow and not any amphitheater which we were expecting.
A stage was created on the empty space in the backyard and chairs were arranged in front of it. We reached just 5 min early and it was already almost full. Even with no seats available, the enthu of crowd was undeterred and we grabbed some space on boundary wall which was still within the audible range of the stage.
The play is about 4 friends in a college hostel, 3 of whom (Anil, Shirish, Rakesh), pull an April Fool prank on the 4th (Ajay) by making him believe that his father has come from village to meet him. Though dismissive at first, Ajay, apparently the youngest shortest and weakest of all, gradually starts believing that the empty space on the chair is actually occupied by his father – especially when the rest 3 of them are able to talk to him so naturally. The prank backfires and the 3 are silenced as Ajay’s monologues with his father build up, revealing his unhealthy childhood and bringing out his hitherto unspoken thoughts and emotions.
It’s a Marathi play by Yogesh Suman, and translated, designed and directed by Saurabh Gharipurikar. The hostel environment is portrayed nicely and some initial dialogues/references have been regionalized to give the Hyderabadi touch and humour. Albeit in a kindda side role, the 3 actors looked good and played their parts convincingly. However, the high point of the play is an excellent performance from Krishna Shukl in the role of Ajay. The scene when he shows himself being dragged from hair and getting beaten up by his invisible father, is amazing. Having stayed in Banaras Hindu University, I’ve seen class theater performances by students of Faculty of Performing Arts, but this was no less. The final moments of the play witnessed pindrop silence – and converted into a standing ovation and applause as it ended.
A fantastic experience altogether, it was an evening well spent and encouraged us to explore more of such opportunities in Hyderabad.
P.S. :My theatre cafe is run on charity and I am sure there must be many more organizations which promote budding talent and need some exposure and support.If you are an organisation/group related to Arts/Culture or associated with a special cause and want us to write about it then you can contact us.We will be happy to do our bit by supporting the cause through Wise She.
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