Get set for three days of thought-provoking entertainment as our Fest takes centre stage in Hyderabad once more

The plays featured in this year's Fest come to you from Mumbai and the U.S. We open with an award-winning black comedy, the hilarious The Interview about the job interview from hell by Akvarious Productions, and close with a zany whodunit packed with twists and turns that features Bollywood star Kalki Koechlin, The Real Inspector Hound by Quaff Theatre, both from Mumbai. In between, we pause to consider the private and public costs of success in The Success, a unique experimental play by Theatre MXT from the U.S.

The Interview

Akvarious Productions (Mumbai)

August 26

This dark comedy swept the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2011, winning Best Play, Best Actor (Karan Pandit), Best Stage Design and Best Supporting Actor (Kashin Shetty). Directed by Akarsh Khurana and written by Siddharth Kumar, it takes an action-packed and wickedly humorous look at the contemporary corporate India. A nervous young man (Pandit) attends an interview at a major company, but nothing in his life so far has prepared him for the decidedly bizarre twists and turns the next hour takes. Based on Kumar's own experiences when he worked in the corporate world, this is a play that anyone who's ever been part of corporate India will be able to relate to.

Success

Theatre MXT (USA)

August 27

What is the definition of success? What are its costs? ‘Success' explores these questions in the context of the cutthroat world of capitalism through the character of Rick Sterling, an American advertising executive whose company helped elect the President of the United States. The 80 minutes of the play unfolds in real-time, as Rick returns to his office from lunch, has three visitors and seven phone calls. ‘Success' first premiered in 1991, and has since been re-worked by playwright John Kishline and director Edward Morgan to reflect our contemporary globalised reality. The play, which now also features an Indian character, embarks on a tour of India this year. It is being staged at the Fest with the support of the U.S. Consulate, Chennai.

The Real Inspector Hound

Quaff Theatre (Mumbai)

August 28

Who can resist a good old whodunit? Though, to be honest, this isn't entirely a whodunit. It's not entirely a comedy either. Though there is a substantial amount of mystery. Also, plenty of laughs. And, of course, course, there's a murder. In an old country house. It's all very Agatha Christie. (Conjure up The Mousetrap in your head for the appropriate stage and props.) A closed setting, a list of suspects. One of them is the killer.

Created by Tom Stoppard, this play is a rollicking example of theatre of the absurd. It's also a satire, a farce, a parody. Confused? Well, this production, directed by Nayantara Kotian and Prashant Prakash of Quaff Theatre, gets even more rambunctiously convoluted.

Mainly because two theatre critics get sucked into the action. Moon is a second-string theatre critic, a jealous stand-in for Higgs, who's far more established. Birdboot, also a theatre critic, is a married womaniser who writes dazzling reviews to ensnare dazzling actresses.

To add to the chaos, there's a madman at large in the deadly marshes. Inspector Hound, who is masterminding the operation, is not available for comment. But it is widely believed that he has a secret plan. We hope it's more intuitive than the present plan: police and volunteers combing the swamps shouting, “Don't be a madman, give yourself up.”

Get involved with the twists, turns, and somersaults that weave their way through all the conventions of a murder mystery with a high-powered cast that includes Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. You will be guessing all the way.

The Fest: Now in five cities

The MetroPlus Theatre Fest was launched in 2005 in Chennai, and has grown to become a festival that showcases a diverse range of plays from all corners of the world. In the last six years, it has showcased plays from all major Indian cities. They have come from countries such as Germany, U.S.A., Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Over time, the Fest has travelled to other cities.This year, we have added Kochi.

The success of the theatre festival encouraged us to institute The MetroPlus Playwright Award in 2008, which carries a prize of Rs. 1 lakh for the best playscript in English. The scripts that won the first three awards were spun out into a book – Three Plays, published by Penguin.

FOR TICKETS

Tickets are priced at Rs. 400 / 250 / 100. Student passes are available at Rs. 50. Season passes are available for Rs. 850 / Rs. 600.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at www.thehindu.com/theatrefest and www.indianstage.in. Tickets for all shows also available at Landmark - Banjara Hills , Bose Store (Somajiguda & Madhapur) and The Hindu Office Begumpet from August 13, Saturday onwards.

Sponsorship Details

Title Sponsor - Bose

Associate Sponsor - Hirco, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts Pvt Ltd,

Hospitality Sponsor - Marriott Hotels and Convention Centre

Event Manager - EVAM

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012