With a medley of plays spanning three evenings, the last leg of MY Theatre Festival (MYTF) Season 2 came to an end. From February 6 to 9, theatre lovers in the city were part of the fest that had gained popularity in its maiden year.
Day 1 was titled MYTF goes MAD, as Kolkata-based troupe, Mad About Drama (M. A. D), made their Chennai debut with “A Good Play”. M.A.D.’s performance as a whole seemed choppy and lacklustre with the play beginning well, but slowly moving into obscure and maudlin territory. The confused audience felt cheated, since after all, all they had been promised “a good play”.
The curators’ pick was from Dramalog II. “No Exit” – a play about three humans stuck in Hell forever – staged by Theatre No. 59, Madras Christian College and “The Interview” - covering the perils and pitfalls of journalistic interviews - staged by Theatron from Anna University were fairly good. The best part of the evening, however, was “The Little Box of Oblivion” staged by Women’s Christian College’s Dramatically Correct. Aeli Mammen Matthew of WCC – nominated in the Best Actress category during Dramalog II – showed true promise and was a delight to watch.
On day 2, “An Inspector Calls” by Stagecoach Productions, IIT Madras was a neat satire on the British society in early twentieth century England. The play focuses on the havoc a young girl’s suicide wreaks on the local industry owner and his family. The group made a commendable effort at setting the tone of the play, sticking to the turn-of-the-century dialogue and not over-playing the dramatic bits.
As a befitting end to Season 2, MYTF’s home production “The President is Coming”, brought the house down. A play about six young Indians vying for the honour of shaking George Bush’s hand, it kept the audience riveted for more than 90 minutes. Featuring an exceedingly talented cast and directed by Amitash Pradhan, it beautifully caricatured the young Indian mindset. However, while Vaishwath Shankar as IT professional Ramesh was hands-down the highlight of the evening, Kaushik M.V. as stockbroker Kapil Dev made a stunning debut with finesse.
In barely a year of its existence, Crea-Shakthi, the producer of MYTF, has outdone itself by bringing youth theatre in the city to the mainstream. Dushyanth Gunashekhar of Crea-Shakthi says he believes in making theatre grow, not just survive. And with that kind of a promise in mind, one can’t help but look forward to MYTF Season 3.
Keywords: MY Theatre Festival, MYTF Season 2, Mad About Drama (M. A. D), Theatre No. 59, Theatron, MCC, Anna university, Stagecoach Productions, IIT Madras, Dramatically Correct, WCC, The President is Coming, Crea-Shakthi