Review: Mukhyamantri

Posted on May 26th, 2014 by Kishore in Reviews, Comedy, Kannada

A Kannada play from Kalagangotri, Bengaluru

MukhyamantriI walked into the theatre with a premonition that this might have something to do with Kissa Kursi Ka or Yes, Minister. I was proved wrong. This two-hour comedy has few one-liners, which are usually the staple of comedies. Instead, actions and reactions make you laugh. Mukhyamantri also makes you realise that *seeing* a drama is a richer experience than merely hearing it on the radio.

The stage was swathed in white: the ‘divans’-and-bolsters for visitors at the party office and at the CM’s residence, the dining table, a colleague’s residence, the party ‘uniform’ (including the cap). The exceptions to this colour scheme were a few telephones, an extinct contraption called a typewriter (some of you might have to Google that), three ladies who brought in a modicum of colour, and the hearts of the characters involved.

Chief Minister of Udayachal, Krishna Dwaipayana Kaushal is worried about losing his chair, as rivals in the party are jockeying to catch the High Command’s eye and grab his post. But he is made of sterner stuff. His various machinations to retain the position remind us that liquor, flesh and food may be powerful motivators, but the most potent of them all is ‘power’.

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Review: MariamLa Moorane Madhuve

Posted on May 16th, 2014 by Kishore in Reviews, Comedy, Kannada, VASP

MariamLa Moorane MadhuveMariam’s Third Marriage: A Kannada play from VASP

Wodehouse has amply demonstrated Bertie Wooster’s proclivity to get into trouble in the absence of Jeeves. Wooster without Jeeves is unimaginable, or is it the other way around…?

Take this plot:

A big game hunter’s millionaire master makes it to the obituary column, after an attempt to be photographed with a lion which, he thought, was dead (the lion thought otherwise). The hunter, in the meantime, falls for the deceased’s wife, but has to put a lid on his feelings because you can’t just propose to a lady who is far wealthier than you.

Back in town, the hunter goes to the races and wins a couple of large bets, but the bookie and his assistant run away instead of paying up. The bookie is none other than the local landlord who, though owning a large palatial house, is impoverished without any other source of income than running book. He and his trusted manservant stash their hats, robes and fake moustaches as soon as they get home. The manservant is Jeeves, of course. Everyone brings their problems to him.

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Review: Avanu Ghazal AvaLu Shayari

Posted on May 11th, 2014 by Kishore in Reviews, Comedy, Kannada, VASP

A rom-com in Kannada from VASP

Avanu Ghazal AvaLu Shayari A mother is worried about her efforts to bring home a daughter-in-law because her husband and her son are big stumbling blocks to that venture. Her husband is a walkie-talkie version of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary, with his own definitions for all and sundry words – he brings these up in every conversation regardless of relevance or propriety. Her son, our hero, is bristling with revolutionary zeal, which permeates every verse of poetry he writes, decrying the sordid and morbid state of affairs around him. Any meeting with a prospective bride’s family invariably leads to disaster on account of the verbal deluge from the father and son duo.

Things change when a middle-aged couple and their daughter, our heroine, move into the neighbouring house and come to visit. The male of the pair is put off by our hero’s father, though his wife falls to some extent for his humourous banter. The daughter seethes with anger at the men of the world, and her anger seeks vent in vitriolic poetry. She comes into our hero’s life as a thundering whirlwind (though the hero’s mother has a more colourful description for her), leaving him disturbed in her wake.

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Big B (Hinglish): A little Premchand and full blast Rohit Shetty

Posted on Jul 18th, 2013 by AK in Reviews, Comedy, Hinglish, Interactive, Pierrot’s Troupe

Big B by Pierrot's Troupe

Pierrot’s Troupe; Director: Dr M Sayeed Alam & Niti Sayeed; India Habitat Center, New Delhi

[Guest author’s note: When I sms-ed my daughter, Shuchi, from Stein Auditorium the other day that I was watching the play Big B, it was one of those little things you share with your family. I least expected that she would ask me to write its review for DramaDose. She has been writing her reviews like a pro, and I was conscious that I could not match her knowledge or flair for writing. However, I decided to give it a shot. So, if what follows sounds incongruous with the general tenor of DramaDose, you know the reason – it is not written by Shuchi but by her Dad. And my explanation for this trespass is Main aya nahi hun, laya gaya hun – to paraphrase an old Mohammad Rafi song, (Mujhe duniyawalo sharabi na samjho) main peeta nahi hun pilayi gayi hai.

That is a rather flippant start to a review on DramaDose. It could be because ‘flippant’ was the most dominant feeling I had when I came out of the auditorium after 100 minutes of Big B, a play that has long been on my must-watch list as it was said to be based on Premchand’s famous story Bade Bhai Saheb. – AK]

The play Big B

When a literary work is adapted to a performing medium – theatre or cinema – a comparison between the two is inevitable. But let me start with Pierrot’s Big B as a creative work on its own.

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Review: Hayavadana

Posted on Dec 11th, 2012 by Sreekanth in Reviews, Benaka, Classical, Kannada

Hayavadana Hayavadana (meaning horse-face), a play written by Girish Karnad, is the story of three protagonists Devadatta, Kapila, and their lady-love Padmini. The play is based on Thomas Mann’s Germans play The Transposed Heads, which in turn was based on the sixth story of Vetala Panchavimshati Katha, written in Sanskrit.

Benaka, one of the oldest theatre groups in Karnataka founded by theatre veteran and parallel-cinema pioneer B.V.Karanth, staged the play at Rangashankara. The star cast was led by noted film maker T.S. Nagabharana as the narrator, Mico Chandru as Devadatta, Poornachandra Tejaswi as Kapila, and Vidya Venkataram (all familiar faces on television and theater circuit). B.V. Shrunga of Boy With A Suitcase fame joined Pavan, Nagabharana’s son Pannaga Bharana and others as a companion of the narrator. Not surprisingly, Rangashankara was jam-packed.

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8 Bombastic Words Every Theatre Lover Should Know

Posted on Jun 27th, 2012 by Shuchi in Theatre Trivia

Theatre Words You can live without knowing these words, but when wading through highfalutin writing/conversations about theatre you will be glad to have them in your verbal armoury.

1. Dénouement

Meaning: The resolution of the intricacies of a plot.

Origin: From the French word dénouer, which means ‘untying’.

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