Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone with its bizarre plot and multi-layered script promises to keep you hooked

A woman seated in a quiet café hears a cell phone ringing away. The man to whom the cell phone belongs shows no interest in picking up the call. Frustrated, she makes her way to answer the call, when she discovers…to find out what happens next watch the award-winning American playwright Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Jagriti Theatre.

Directed by Vivek Madan, Dead Man’s Cell Phone has a wacky plot with some fast-paced action. In this surrealistic comedy, Sarah explores death, love and the affect of technology on connecting people.

“I am very excited about directing this play, as it is different from anything I have done before,” says Vivek, known for his powerhouse performances, who has directed plays such as Gautam Raja’s The Invisible River and Anita Nair’s A Twist of Lime. “The play centres on a bizarre situation the characters are thrown in. There are a lot of elements in the play.”

“One aspect of the play is how one choice leads to a domino effect and snowballs into a series of events that affects a lot of people’s lives.” The dialogues are structured in an absurd way. “The way some of the characters speak have no discernible logic or background to it. It was quite a delight and a challenge to explore what the dialogues mean,” says Vivek.

Vivek came across the script in Mumbai at the office of Q Theatre productions, when he was there to direct Eric Gordon’s Nostalgia Brand Chewing Gum. “I read it and found it interesting. This play hasn’t been done in India before, to my knowledge. I thought I’d direct it now because I felt ready as a director to do so.”

For this production, Vivek has explored design. “Vandana Menon has done the visuals. Considerable thought has gone into the costumes, designed by Vidya Masand.”

Vivek is pleased with the way the play has shaped up. Speaking about the cast—which includes Kanchan Bhattacharyya, Anju Alva Naik, Arundhati Raja, Tulika Majumdar, Ajith Hande and Vandana Prabhu—Vivek says: “I am sure the performers will come out on top.”

As for what the audience can expect, Vivek says: “The play is really quite fun. You’ve got to embrace your kooky side to experience the play in all its glory.”

Dead Man’s Cell Phone will be performed from September 6 to September 15, and will open the Jagriti Season 2013. There is no show on Monday, September 9. The play will performed at 8pm on all days except Sunday when shows are at 3pm and 6.30pm.

Tickets are priced at Rs. 300 and are available at www.bookmyshow.com and at Jagriti.

Student discounts are available from Tuesday to Thursday. Season tickets are priced at Rs. 1,000.