A selection of plays watched in the recent past that I recommend to every theatre fan.
1. Love Letters
Letter exchanges between a couple over a span of fifty years – that’s the play in one line and to know why the seemingly thin plot is so terribly interesting, you must see it. Some actors wear layers of makeup to give the illusion of age and still don’t convince you; some like Rajit Kapoor and Shernaz Patel simply be and make you believe they are aging. The lead actors turn in performances so heartfelt that one of them had tears unabated even after the show was over.
2. Hamlet The Clown Prince
A smart parody of Shakespeare’s Hamlet brought to stage by an ensemble of fine actors, who can make even the language of Gibberish seem meaningful. [Review]
3. Bikhre Bimb
With its compelling collusion of the Real and the Reel, this play redefines what is possible on stage. Also watch it for some lovely polished Hindi of the kind we only find in old books nowadays, and a performer who holds the stage in a way only the gifted can. [Review]
4. Mirza Ghalib In Delhi
In this inventive comedy by Pierrot’s Troupe about the travails of Mirza Ghalib who finds himself in present-day Delhi, the accents of Delhi and Bihar and Urdu of the nineteenth century infuse into a hilarious concoction. The background music is a treat, with tunes set to Mirza Ghalib’s lyrics – the delicious Dil-e-nadan tujhe hua kya hai, for one. Lovers of language, fans of Ghalib – don’t miss this.
5. Silence! The Court Is In Session
Vijay Tendulkar’s famous script that slowly, deftly turns from bright to grim, an able cast and the interesting device of a play within a play, this play should be on every theatre fan’s to-watch list. [Review]
Speaking of to-watch lists, there are several plays on mine – BlackBird, The Blue Mug and A Disappearing Number, to name some.
Which are your favourite plays?