Review: Five Grains Of Sugar

Posted on Sep 20th, 2009 by Shuchi in Reviews, English, Just Theatre, Solo Acts

Just Theatre: Five Grains Of Sugar During the 70 minutes of its run time, Just Theatre’s Five Grains Of Sugar has only a single character on stage – Rajkumar, who in his own words, is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life in small town India.

Rajkumar spends those 70mins of the play narrating anecdotes from his unspectacular life to the audience.

Doesn’t sound too exciting does it? And yet, it’s a compelling, eminently satisfying play.

Munish Sharma, the actor who plays Rajkumar, has an easy charm and perfect comic timing, making Rajkumar a very likeable character. He describes with gusto his small world, full of people like a pseudo-intellectual poet uncle and a mother with a love for action films – and you’re completely drawn in.

The props are an interesting assortment too: old boots used as flowerpots, blackboard and a bicycle, to name a few. Then there’s a mystifying action that Rajkumar keeps repeating during the play;  that gets nicely tied in with the theme of the play towards the end.

If there’s one thing that didn’t work too well, it was the translation. (“Five Grains Of Sugar” was originally written in Hindi as Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane, later translated to English by Arshia Sattar.) Not that the translation’s shoddy, in fact it’s a pretty well-done job. It’s just that the play has a very Hindi feel to it, it doesn’t sound as natural in English.

Performances In Sep ‘09

This play is coming to Bangalore this month; it will be staged at Grasshopper, Kyra and Rangashankara. Go for it!

Grasshopper: 24th Sep 09 (8 PM)
Call 9845452646 for details.

Kyra: 25th Sep 09 (7.30PM)
Call 080-43419999 for details.

Ranga Shankara: 26th and 27th Sep 09 (3:30PM and 7:30PM)
Call 9845602265 for details.

Note – If you sit in the first row, be prepared to take a joke or two at your own expense!

Author Image

Article by Shuchi

Shuchi lives in Bangalore (mostly), when she isn’t traveling out of town for work. She adores theatre and writes about plays she watches whenever she gets a chance.

Other posts by
Twitter Facebook Shuchi on Google+

10 Comments to “Review: Five Grains Of Sugar”

  1. OMG.. i’ve seen this one ! I saw it in hindi a few yrs back in mumbai. it really was very gripping and i never thought a monologue could be so complete!

    November 4th, 2009 11:51 pm

  2. Hi Spardha, It must’ve been even better in Hindi. I hope to catch it again when they bring the Hindi version to Bangalore.

    November 5th, 2009 12:06 am

  3. […] (Beware, if you sit bang in front of the actors in a comic performance, you are often a butt of their jokes. It isn’t for the […]

    January 3rd, 2010 8:32 pm

  4. Hi Shuchi, I have been following your reviews at and find them informative and enjoyable. But the reviews sometimes miss important info. For example this review does not tell us who is the writer and director of the play. Could you fill in the gaps please ? Thanks.

    June 21st, 2010 6:40 pm

  5. Hi Meera, Thanks for your feedback. Five Grains of Sugar is written by Manav Kaul, translated by Arshia Sattar, directed by Nirmala Ravindran.

    June 21st, 2010 6:48 pm

  6. Hi Shuchi,
    Just found this online. We’re doing a set of shows in Bangalore again.. the play has changed a lot since it’s last run.. do try and catch it.. if you’re free. thanks for the old review.. which i happened to see now.
    warm regards

    January 31st, 2012 12:40 pm

  7. The Hindi version is being staged at RS on 18th Aug and 19th Aug.

    July 24th, 2012 5:16 pm

  8. Thanks for sharing that Sreekanth. Will surely try to catch it.

    July 24th, 2012 8:24 pm

  9. Watched it today. To put it in Rajkumar’s parlance, it was “bas theek tha”. I felt it could have been cut down by about 10 minutes by spending less time in establishing the characters. It got a bit repetitive for me.

    August 19th, 2012 10:16 pm

  10. Hi Sreekanth, I was curious to know how the show went (wasn’t able to make it 🙁 ), thanks for the feedback.

    I remember liking the English version quite a lot.

    August 19th, 2012 10:56 pm

Leave me a comment