Three plays and a dinner made it an evening to remember.
“Wherever there is human society, the irrepressible Spirit of Performance manifests,” reads a message from Brett Bailey, a playwright and theatre artist. It was shared on the social media on World Theatre Day . That spirit was evident at the venue where CATS presented three plays to 60 theatre lovers gathered at On The Go for an evening of Supper Theatre.
A father, in a bid to help his son grow up, takes him to a brothel, in The Arrangement, a play written by Neil Simon. The father (Shawn Nigli) drew loud laughs as he bargained with the prostitute (K.V. Siddhartha who played the woman). He entreats him to handle his son (Sushil Jacob) with “delicacy”, to which she retorts that in that case he should have bought the boy an umbrella instead of bringing him to a brothel. Siddhartha looked completely at ease in a blonde wig and short skirt. Shawn and Sushil complimented each other as the domineering father and nervous son.
The next play was The Incompatibles, written by Horace Holley. What happens when a woman bumps into her ex-husband? Especially when her present husband is around? Chandana Upadhya was convincing as the confused wife, caught between her past and present. Shawn Nigli played the suave ex-lover and Sushil the insecure husband.
The last play was the poignant Progress, once again written by Horace Holley. It is about a scientist (Sushil Jacob) who is ruled by cold logic. He believes war is an act of patriotism and the answer to all problems. He has even invented a way to devastate a city in a “rapid and efficient” fashion. His sister, on the other hand, feels war is brutal and inhuman. She has lost her son to war. Sushil was convincingly maniacal and Tanvi Palaniappan, a literature student from PSG CAS, successfully played a middle-aged mother. Shawn who played the servant who understood his mistress’s grief, made an impact with his sensitive portrayal.
“I did a lot of preparation for the role as this was an experience I never went through in life,” said Tanvi about her role. “I found it most challenging to recreate the maturity of the character.” And, she prepared for the role by watching films, which had war as their backdrop.
“I was only happy to direct this play when I chanced upon this script,” said Siddhartha. “The issue of war resonates with everyone, at all times.”