Thought Romeo and Juliet was impeccable. Well, we had a quirky bunch of puppets and a raconteur with a guitar, making a hilarious mockery of Shakespeare’s classic with some irreverent touches. The infusion of popular culture, an insanely funny premise, genuine commentary on contemporary clichés, and a befitting ensemble made this one worth a watch. Some minor issues with sound were the only distractions in an otherwise neat display. Great way to bring this edition of MPTF to an end!
Rahul Sridhar, Adyar
The play by Tahatto was a witty and rousing update on the Bard’s tragic romance. Four puppets come to life and decide to enact their version of Romeo & Juliet. While staying true to the spirit of the original play, the actors’ freewheeling version included music from Backstreet Boys to Euphoria, dialogues from Hindi films (Sholay to DDLJ), spoilers to The Prestige and Sixth Sense and side-splitting imitations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Arnab Goswami. While it was a joke a minute, there was also food for thought. The warring Montagues and Capulets were likened to Indians and Pakistanis. The puppets demonstrated that destiny was not in your stars but in your choices. This was perhaps the best adaption of the Bard in recent times.
Ramya Ramamurthy, T.Nagar
William Shakespeare's timeless classic was given a contemporary treatment and how! Political satire — be it the U.S. foreign policy or Indo-Pak tensions or Bollywood’s obsession in projecting the hero’s love in Phoren locales, The overbearing trial by media that news channels — English and Hindi alike — indulge in night after night, all this and more was beautifully woven into this canon of love. Was Juliet a feminist as much as she was a star-crossed lover? Did Juliet fancy Paris when she realised the hopelessness of her love for Romeo? These unanswered questions were reflective of love amid confusion and chaos in our times. The animosity between Montague and Capulet families was used as an analogy to portray the contrast between people from different states in our country and this dialogue worked like a charm. Eclectic strains of music — original and adapted — was the solid backbone of this experiment. And yes, these puppets did loosen our strings...
Kartik Subramanian, Anna Nagar
One legendary play. One legendary playwright. But seen differently by four puppets who dared to break free of the strings binding them. Romeo and Juliet – No Strings Attached was an immensely well-thought-out adaption of the classic and portrayed by five brilliant actors. From the laughter evoking imitations of television anchors to the thought-provoking deliberations of Juliet, the play was an amalgamation of joy, dream, pain and most importantly love. In short, the puppets transported every “ghost” present, into the Shakespearean world of love, fate and choices.
Ashwin R, Poonamallee High Road
Old spirit, new approach
The group claims it is not a mere love story. It is a story of choice and consequences. The story begins with four actors playing puppets breaking their strings in an empty theatre after the daily show and enacting their own version of the Bard’s play. It is definitely a free-for-all interpretation of the Bard’s play, peppered with original dialogues or the actor’s versions of the Bard's words. The result was hilarious. Each of the actors took on more than one role and enacted each role with elan. During the ninety minutes they were on stage, they managed to present and critique the realities of the modern world keeping up the pretence of the old play. The stage was aesthetically set to give a pictorial version of Italy where the actual play is set. The script was so well written and imaginative that the actors found it easy to carry on with the play.
Keywords: MetroPlus Theatre Fest 2013, MPTF 2013, The Hindu MetroPlus Thetare Fest, theatre fest, theatre festival, Chennai theatre, Indian theatre, theatre in Chennai, Romeo & Juliet citizen reviews, Tahatto Bangalore