The winning review: Wisdom and wit
Having read Leonce and Lena, I walked in wondering what a giraffe has to do with it. The title How to Skin a Giraffe was in fact used as a philosophical conjecture, as the multilingual play effortlessly moved to depict the drudgery of everyday life with occasional comic digs at the audience too. King Labdub’s two-word aphorisms were an amusing mix of snobbery and wisdom, at times comically inspired by anglicized Tamil words (Obfuscation and mullamarification?!).
The rotating triangular props were a pleasure to watch, especially when they were used to depict the way through the forest and passage of time when the prince and his accomplice escape from the palace. The moods and emotions in the play were beautifully portrayed by the two background musicians playing a variety of instruments.
W. Anne Sharon
Well thought out
The play stood out for its creative use of simple props, music and thoughtful use of appropriate language. The play started off with some highly philosophical and satirical deliberations and slowly mellowed down to a beautiful and sweet romantic story. Despite the heady dose of satire the audience left the hall happily singing pepepopo...
The Hindu Metroplus Theatre Fest began with a bang with this audio-visual treat. The props and lighting were effective and each sequence was performed with conviction. How To Skin A Giraffe revealed how the simple story of boy meets girl, fate and marriage and being stuck in a rut can be met with humour and enigma. Accolades to The Perch and Rafiki to have pulled off the performance with such zest.
Metaphors in theatre are tricky. Too much, and they become hyperbolic overdrives. Too little, and one never gets the point. How to Skin a Giraffe(or giraffii, as the actors put it), straddled the fine line of metaphor and comedy, and got it right.
The story was about the marriage between the children of a powerful king and a rich woman. The play was in English with substantial use of Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and fragments of Malayalam, Telugu and Marathi. Phew! But it transcended the barrier of language fairly well, and most of the jokes got their share of chuckles.
The young cast did a wonderful job of combining elements of street play, mime and musical. Some, such as Ammai (Bindumalini) were fantastic, some slightly overacted, but they succeeded in holding the crowd through the two-hour duration. The music (Vedanth and Anushka) was brilliant too.
Made you think
If you were to ask me what the play was exactly about, I must confess, it still eludes me. It is sometimes best that answers are not explicit, lest we forget to follow the wise saying of the king, ‘think’. The play’s primary attractions were its spontaneity and the fresh interpretation of society’s quirks. The spectacular use of props to depict movement left this viewer spellbound. The experimental mode of theatre, paired with Buchner’s plot alongside unique observations of people and other mysteries, definitely made for an interesting experience.
Rachel Pamela Joseph
Anna Nagar West
Not just skin deep
When you walk in to watch a Rajiv Krishnan production you can be assured of originality, humour, good music, fine acting and great art direction. But let me get to some specifics. First, the truly magnificent cast, each one of them essayed multiple characters with ease. The background score was mesmerising, particularly, the music for well-choreographed ‘bubble’ dance. The play tackled questions relating to absurdities of life in an enthralling manner. Could the production have been 20 minutes shorter? The first half could have been trimmed. This year’s theatre festival began well with this boldly creative production.
Sanjay Rao Chaganti
R A Puram