Months after you’ve seen a play, the details begin to blur. Not all details, though. Some minutiae – an actor’s expression, a snatch of dialogue, a setpiece – leave a mark so strong, it is as if you saw the play yesterday.
A compendium of such inspired moments from plays I’ve watched in 2010.
- Ravi Credit: A couple visits Ravi’s shop, asks for something on credit. A quiet plea, a hesitant yes. All seems harmless and above board but before you know it the scene has snowballed into a synchronized scream. A flock of villagers whirl in and strip the shop bare to the refrain of "Ravi credit" as Ravi looks on, bewildered. [Miss Meena]
For her sake, not mine: All is not hunky dory in the friendship of Elling and Kjell Bjarne ever since Kjell Bjarne has been smitten by A Woman. On a group trip, the friends have a tiff before bed-time. Elling can barely sleep when, to his joy, Kjell Bjarne comes knocking. His joy has a short life – Kjell Bjarne has not returned to make up for the quarrel. In that fleeting moment, Elling reflects the quick turn of emotions, as if a light switch has been turned off. [Elling]
Draupadi sings: An octogenarian male wearing billowing skirts and passing off as Draupadi sounds like the stuff of lowbrow comedy. It is anything but. In this Gondhal performance, any giggles this spectacle may have brought about are silenced when Draupadi begins to sing. Lokshahir Vitthal’s sonorous voice treads the octave as only the gifted can. And Draupadi comes to life. [Lokmahabharat]
Space Traveller says Yo!: One actor, 30 seconds, 7 roles. Happens in One Small Step. Each of those seven characters introduces himself with a different voice, expression and attitude. There is no pause while this happens, the audience holds its breath to take in the fast-paced transitions. The seventh character in line says the single word – Yo!– and the audience bursts into applause. [One Small Step]
- Manjula freezes: Manjula Sharma wraps up her well-rehearsed interview at the TV studio, pleased with the satisfaction of a task successfully done. The cameras stop rolling. She picks up her bag about to leave, when something incredible makes her stop in her tracks. [Broken Images]