If you have ever come across the expression "work is killing me" and wondered what that really means, then Ram Ganesh Kamatham’s Dancing On Glass is a good start towards finding some answers.
The plot consists of 3 principal characters; one of who never materializes on stage and remains a mere voice-over. Driving home after 48 hours of incessant work results in the premature death of this unseen person named Pradeep. That leaves us with his room-mate: Shankar, and his (Pradeep’s) girlfriend: Megha.
One can vaguely conclude that Pradeep and Megha were colleagues working at a call centre. Shankar is portrayed as their professional cousin working in the software development sector. What connects them all is the utter lack of rhythm or control over their time and how their jobs seems to distort it to great lengths. And it goes without saying that none of them are remotely happy with their jobs.
Megha tries to convince herself that she is too practical to bereave her beau and carry on with her life as though the entire chapter in her life never happened. Shankar ends up discovering the subconscious liking he always had for Megha has now begun surfacing and he seems to involuntarily do things that will draw him closer to her. As the story progresses, we find the two characters in a zone where they are getting close to each other, literally jobless by some turn of events and seriously wondering where there life is headed to.
The dialogues contain a liberal dose of profanity and all the promotional materials contain warnings to that effect. While much of it seems natural when the characters are venting out their torrid emotions, there surely are situations where it seems out of place. The stage setting is rather unique: it is divided into many zones with markings on the floor. There is the office zone, the rooms of the two people & the public place. Despite having just 2 actors, there are scenes wherein both of them are cueing a monologue at the same time but from different zones on the stage. The lighting is put to great use with usage of magenta, green & blue in ways that seems quite appropriate. The fact that this play has been running for at least 5 years should be a testament to its quality.
Surprisingly, the two actors Abhishek Majumdar and Meghana Mundkur seem to have been the ones on stage through the years. Personally I found Abhishek’s drunken soliloquies to be exceptionally authentic. Likewise, Meghana does a convincing job of playing a neurotic person.
If you are looking for something satirical and can digest expletives, then this should be a play that you go see the next time it runs in your neighbourhood.