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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Miss Meena- theatre play by Perch Chennai

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It was long time since I had watched a play. So the other day after Landrover experience, though a bit tired decided to head to Alliance Francaise for this play called Miss Meena, on invitation from Agni Sharman.

Miss Meena is a story of a village girl, who was betrayed by her love and eventually goes to Madras, where she becomes popular cine star. Back home, her village is in deep trouble, because factories are being closed, livelihood is threatened and as such the village is heading towards a crisis.
Forest scene where Mina and Ravi meet
Villagers see some hope when they get the news that Miss Mina is planning to visit their village, after a gap of 20 years. They plan wide range of activities to welcome her and seek her help in resolving the troubles the village is facing.

Miss Mina agrees to help them and says she is planning to make a movie on her childhood, focusing on the village she grew in. This movie would make the village famous and bring fortunes. But she has one condition. Someone who betrayed her 20 years ago, should pay with his life. This condition, though initially unacceptable to villagers, slowly turns the village against the man in question- Ravi- Miss Mina's first (and probably only) love. Desperate villagers feel sacrificing one man for the benefit of entire village is Ok.

Apart from the story, there're lots of interesting aspects in the play:

1 Language:  Actors talk in the language they are comfortable with. Few speak in Kannada, others in Tamil, Hindi and English. This multi language approach helps play reach out to larger audience and makes conversation seem more natural.

2 Creativity in using simple tools to set the stage. Usually plays use backdrops to set the context- like a big screen with trees to depict forest etc. With Miss Mina, everything is set up with hand and using simple tools. You can see the forest scene (trees and waterfall) in the first picture above. Similarly, set up of Vinayaka temple and many other objects is well thought of, showing good creativity and craftsmanship of the team.

3. While the plot is serious, a series of humor filled scenes keep the audience entertained. Local MLA begging for a dialogue, villagers trying to take everything on credit from Ravi (hoping that they will never have to pay him) and so on.

4. Most of the sounds were created by human voice of the actors, not using any instruments.

All photos by Agni Sharman

Incidentally this was 50th show for the group, who have perfected this play. It lasted close to 2 hours and was about 10 PM when the show ended. Starting little early could have been more convenient to people.

Cast - Karuna Amarnath(Miss Asha/Meena), Anand Sami, Anish Victor, Iswar Srikumar, Anushka Meenakshi, Sachin Gurjale (the MLA), Ravindra Vijay, Ashiqa Selvan and Anitha Santhanam.

Group: Perch (www.perch.co.in), operating since 2006
Duration: About 2 hours.

Crew:
Direction: Rajiv Krishnan
Production: Niren Saldanha
Script : Rashmi Ruth Devadasan
Choreography: Aparna Gopinath

It was a Sunday evening well spent. 3 weeks since then, the song "Meena, Meena" still rings in my head. Next time they are in town, do go and watch this play (Unfortunately the calendar in their website is not updated about their 2014/2015 schedule, you need to keep an eye on theatre activities in your town to know if they are performing.

Similar: Two to Tango and other plays * ET WoW! * 16 in 1 quick movie reviews *

4 comments :

Agn! Sharman said...

Nice read!

Prasad Np said...

Always good to know that theater is alive and kicking....

Prasad Np said...

Always good to know that theater is alive and kicking....

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