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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Play time-Theatre plays by Evam, Rebelz n more

Some updates first:
Ex classmate BM Giriraj (he is also associate director of a movie-Moggina Manasu) has released a Kannada novel recently, called Kathege Savilla (no death to stories)- grab a copy if you can.

A Hyderabad based magazine, PRISM, has quoted my opinion, with credit, in one of its articles about Begging menace. You may wish to read the article here (My inputs are hidden deep somewhere-either read it fully or do Ctrl+F for my name). In case you wish to buy the print version, Magazine is available for Rs 10 at Walden stores in Begumpet and Banjara Hills

Play Time
Hot sun and other factors have cut down my travel plans in past few months and instead made me divert attention towards theatre, music and other fine arts. In the span of last 6 months I’ve attended about 10 plays/performances. I’m not an expert in this field and do not have time and content to write detailed review, so just giving a mention of various performances I attended and a brief review.

1. Battle of the Sexes, by Rebelz at Alliance Française (21st December 2008)
Two small plays performed back to back on the theme-difference of opinion between men and women. Play was good to watch, though nothing new in the story/content. More about Rebelz Entertainment

2, 3. Inspirations 09 and Summer-n-Groove Dance show by Swingers
Have written in detail about Swingers in a separate post- Read it here.

4. Hamlet the Original Spoof by evam, Vinayaga hall, Nungambakkam
Came to know about this show by a friend just 30 mins prior to start time. Dashed to the venue just in time. The play is performed by only 3 characters, performed well by Karthik Kumar, Karthik Srinivasan and Sunil Vishnu (excluding some audience invited on stage) I’ve not yet seen or read the original hamlet, so the spoof almost went overhead. But the play was slightly different and innovative from others- other than the regular performance, it was re enacted in slow motion mode, fast forward mode, reverse mode etc to entertain the audience. Some audience were invited on stage to do some small actions, the introduction was also different-running all around auditorium, killing time, pulling each other’s leg etc, which may look silly for serious observers. [More]

5, 6. Patala Bhairavi and Mayaa Bazaar (Telugu)-by Surabhi Group, coordinated by Evam, Music Academy, Mylapore
Hyderabad based Surabhi theatre group (aka Sri Venkateshwara NatyaMandali) is reportedly one large united family of some 60+ members whose prime activity is performing theatre. They are known for on stage animations and effects, which we got to see firsthand in these two plays. Surabhi group was founded in 1889 (yes, more than 120 years) and is running since 3 generations. Everyone in the family-small kids to elderly people will have some role/responsibility to undertake during each show.

Play was in telugu, so audience were provided with a synopsis in English, which helped us get a brief overview of the story. The 100 Rs ticket was full paisa vasool, while higher denomination tickets didn’t have much of a value addition. Complementary beauty products from Citibank promo, discount coupons and free perk, parrot reading etc added to fun-which we missed on day 1 but exploited on day 2.

Some of the on stage animations/graphics used in these plays deserves a mention. Difficult to describe or narrate in words and should be enjoyed live. Romantic scenes involving moon and dreaming, scenes in which the rakshasa chops off his own hand and several such tricks were executed very well. Sitting at balcony we could view some accessories used for these tricks-which we wouldn’t have seen has we been on ground floor.

Both Patala Bhairavi (The Goddess of Underground) and Maya bazaar (Illusionary Market??) are available as movies, for those interested. First one, Patala Bhairavi, is about a common man winning heart of princess, while having to face lots of hurdles, including an evil man who attempts to con this man and sacrifice him to Patala Bhairavi for some personal gains. However our hero gets the hint just in time, manages to escape, win hands of princess and so on. Mayaa Bazaar is a relatively weaker story.

Surabhi group frequently performs in Hyderabad and other cities like Bangalore (keep an eye on Ranga Shankara schedule). Watch their next performance if you can.

7. Music Concert at IIT-M Open Air Theatre, on the occasion of Easter
Forgot the name of the singer-Was a nice performance.

8. PC Sorkar Magic Show
Except a few tricks others were conventional and boring. Not really worth, mainly because we would have seen the same stuff several times over-in TV, in other shows etc. Kids might enjoy it though.

9. Two 2 Tango, by Rebelz, Alliance Française
Both Rebelz plays I’d seen were two in one- two short plays performed back to back. In Two 2 Tango, first play, Playwriting for Dummies, was about how a script writer tries to control the play by varying dialogues or significance of each characters. Second play, Alice in Blunderland, was about a person who had created a false image in the eyes of his boss about a strong relationship he has with his loved one, while in reality he had none. Now that his boss is visiting his place for dinner, he has to get a girl to act as his fiancée. The play depicts the trouble he faces in the process. Overall rating: Ok to Good.

10. Summer of Love-Western Music concert by Unwind Centre, Museum Theatre, Egmore
Organized primarily to showcase talents of newly enrolled students of unwind centre, the concert included several songs in mass singing. Since they were not professionals, but amateurs who just learnt some singing, Rs 200 ticket fare was a bit high. But like swingers I guess here also parents of kids singing were the ones who composed most of the audience, having to buy tickets at whatever rate quoted by the organizers. Some songs were good, but melody was somewhat missing as 25-30 people on stage couldn’t sing in perfect synchronization. For a few songs they displayed lyrics on screen, which helped making sense of what they were singing, while many other songs didn’t have the same. Audience was also made to sing a few lines

Coming up in near Future

Run for your Wife- By ASAP- Museum Theatre, Egmore, Chennai
To be performed this Saturday and Sunday, 13th and 14th June 2009, 7PM- Watch it if you can. I’ll update this post with a brief review of this play next week.
Run for your wife is A very popular play in England. ASAP productions are performing it in Chennai, with assistance from Bhoomi.

Run for your wife: Post play update: The play was good, though started little late. I felt some dialogues and actions could have been toned down a little. There were no refreshments on sale during the break. Museum theatre is not the best place to perform a play-due to its semi circular design, only those sitting at the centre can get proper view. Also number of seats are much less compared to a regular theatre.

Chicago- A musical by stagefright theatre group
Scheduled to be performed in August, the team is rehearsing hard. Based on an English movie- Chicago-story of a few ladies who murder men for various reasons and land up in jail. To be performed by
Stagefright productions

An Idiot for Dinner by Evams
Performance of this play is going on at Rangashankara, JP Nagar Bengaluru this weekend. Next weekend (20th and 21st June) it will be happening in Chennai, 3:30 and 7:30pm at Sivagami Pettachi Auditorium in Mylapore. [More]

Ticket prices to these shows are 2-3 times (and more) that of a movie ticket. But watching live performance is a different experience compared to viewing pre recorded video. Also some of these theatre groups are into charity and social welfare. Most of them are very successful in getting enough sponsors.

Also wanted to attend performances of Ram and Indira Kadambi, Jayanti Sundar and others-didn't materialize.



7 comments :

mail said...

Hello Nidhi

Great to know you watched both our plays over the past few months! Our latest play is premiering in Chennai on the 20th of June. Its called "An Idiot for Dinner" and is based on the French film "Le Diner De Cons" which was also made into "Bheja Fry", a Hindi film last year. The shows are at 3:30 and 7:30pm at Sivagami Pettachi Auditorium in Mylapore. Please do come and watch it and tell us what you think!

Cheers

Aparna Narayan
evam
9840222363

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Aparna Narayan,

I have it on my plan. Have updated the post with this.

Thanks

SAM said...

We are looking for an Amateur Theater Group to stage an event consisiting of variety entertainment including a smallplay, classical dance to celebrate indian Independence Day in the city of Goteborg, Sweden. the association has been just revived and finances are low. But members will be happy to host performers as their guests in beautiful Goteborg for a week. If any Group is interested, please write to us at connexxions@aol.com.
Event is planned for second weekof September 2009.
Secretary . IAG

Piyush Agarwal said...

Hello Nidhi,

I am glad to see that you have found theatre or rather theatre has found you as an eager audience. :)

My group Tahatto is staging, "A Funny Thing Called War" based on the original BlackAdder comic series on 13th Nov'09 at 8pm at Alliance Fr., Bangalore. So if you do happen to be in Bangalore, please do watch the show.

Tickets available at indianstage.in, more details on www.tahatto.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

13th is Friday... if it was on 14th I could have considered...

Piyush Agarwal said...

Hello Shrinidhi...

The show was very well recieved and audience loved it. You can read about it on the tahatto blog.

You couldn't make it last time but do not miss the 3rd show at Kyra on Sunday, 27th Dec'09 7:30pm onwards.

Piyush

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Piyush,

Regrets I missed it again...