Eight stories in a span of a 100 minutes might sound drab, but this was not! As each play got over, the audience eagerly awaited the next. Dealing with everything from terrorism to the excitement of being a lamppost in India, there was a perfect blend of seriousness and good-natured humour. The audience were in splits and the enthusiasm of the actors on stage and the viewers was contagious.
Aditi Anna Kuriakose
Shades of modernity
Reflecting the myriad hues of the post modern world — sometimes in dark monologues, sometimes with pure sarcasm and, at most other times with comic capers, the play transported the audience to a world where the actor's dilemma was shared by the audience. Though some of the stories did border on abstraction, each of them gave away a strong message, a gripping observation. Credit to the writers for observing the idiosyncrasies and ironies of the 21st Century in such detail.
One after the other, eight plays explored the Indian experience.
The organisers may have had their doubts about how the mostly-Tamil speaking audience would react to the Hindi-English mixture in the performance, but the standing ovation at the end left no doubts. The play had all of us up on our feet and clapping. A fitting conclusion to this year's Independence Day.
Nandini M Thilak
Each monologue was laced with subtlety, and had immense strength in its portrayal.
Right from the corruption of bureaucrats (one of the best) to homosexuality to in-flight food, innovativeness was one of the key factors in this production.
Stealing hearts was Anand Tiwary's portrayal of a lamp post's perspective.
The lighting was minimal, yet effective.
The acting standard was phenomenal —
from Yashpal Sharma (and his impeccable Hindi) to Rajit Kapur in his appeal to Richard Branson.
Laughter is truly the best medicine, and Rage Productions proved that, as they blended laughter with practices plaguing the growth of the nation.
Language no bar
The directors have adroitly crafted a hard-hitting string of monologues that shines at every point with earthy humour.
And, with this, language barriers were dissolved at the Fest. Chennai could not have applauded an east-Uttar Pradesh slang more!
The concluding collage of plays (Rage Productions) turned out to be the proverbial feather in the cap of the week that was. Ironically, it was Independence Day, and even as we stood with pride to the strains of Jana Gana Mana, the plays showed that we can be funny and tolerant of ourselves.
We can laugh at The Bureaucrat amongst us without feeling alienated from those who serve and protect The Kachra that we elect.
Dr. Ajit Yadav
Ten minutes of everything from a ‘brilliant' bureaucrat's trialogue, a bodyguard's sad tale, divorce in Mumbai, homophobia, airplane food, a widow's redemption, road-naming shenanigans and lastly, a Pakistani terrorist who wants to be on ‘Nach Baliye'. Hard-hitting issues innovatively gloved in comedy made the last show of the Fest, a treat. The slight negatives were two plays in Hindi, which could have been given subtitles, the short about divorce that had the female lead fumbling a few times and the piece about airplane food being a close relative of a much-loved forwarded mail.
Making an impact
Though some of the finer nuances of the dialogue in the two Hindi pieces might have been lost on the Chennai audience, overall, the play was delightful. Most of the pieces made you laugh till your sides hurt, and yet, they also left you with a sense of unease about today's India. In fact, the ability of the play to make that impact was its very USP. The Bureaucrat and Load-Shedding come in as close seconds – primarily due to the very quotable aphorisms garnishing those sketches - my heart went out to the adorable moral dilemma of the “terrorist” in Instant Behosh.
Amrita V. Nair