Get set for three days of thought-provoking entertainment as our fest takes the stage once more in the city from August 5 to 7

Three days. Three plays. Three stories with countless twists and turns. Good guys, bad guys. Realism and escapism. Folklore and slapstick. Music, lights, action. The MetroPlus Theatre Fest is about to unfold.

This second edition of the Fest brings three starkly different productions to the Bangalore stage from August 5 to 7, which will be held at Chowdiah Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m. Each proudly individual, and each special for very different reasons.

The Real Inspector Hound

Quaff Theatre (Mumbai)

August 5

Who can resist a good old whodunit? Though, to be honest, this isn't entirely a whodunit. It's not entirely a comedy either. There is a substantial amount of mystery. Also plenty of laughs. And, of 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 womanizer who writes dazzling reviews to ensnare dazzling actresses. To add to the chaos, there's a madman at large in the deadly marshes region. 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-power cast that includes Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. You will be guessing all the way.

Trailing my Mamet Duck

Evam (Chennai)

August 6, 2011

What do ducks have to do with all the drama of your life? Well, we're pleased to introduce you to David Mamet, whose 1972 play, “The Duck Variations” introduced a convenient metaphor for love and longing, happiness and loss, fears and failings. Mamet, a Pulitzer-winning playwright, developed a style of writing dialogue that was so distinctive, with it's cynical slant and street-smart edge that it began to be called ‘Mamet speak'. Now watch his prose come to life — with a twist.

Presented by Evam, a young theatre group from Chennai, “Trailing my Mamet Duck” is an engaging interpretation of the play. Director Karthik Kumar says the Duck is pretty much a search for “what is and what could be”. In this production they intend to push the boundaries of theatre, creating a spectacle that transcends the stage. Don't sit back. Because they also intend to involve you.

Yes, you still have to switch off your mobile phones. And no, we still don't approve of you spending all evening crouched over your Blackberry. But for one night only, you get to connect with each other as an audience. Bringing down the Fourth wall is so passé. Now it's all about social transactions — a new process that urges you to invest and therefore take something back home.

Trailing the Mamet Duck is all about creating the perfect spot in this world for ourselves, and hence for the world around. Welcome to this search…

Kkok-Du

Creative Group Noni (Korea)

August 7

The Korean play, Kkok-Du is based on an old folk tale. This tale, replete with human drama, stormy emotion and earthy humour, like all good folk tales, has been passed on orally from generation to generation. It begins with a gypsy shaman with a talent for puppetry.

Then come the vagrant acrobats and fiesty clowns. Add dancing monks and a fearsome monster, and you get a tale that's as colourful as it is beguiling. But that's not all that makes it unique.

Kkok-Du is being staged by a young, idealistic and driven company called Creative Group Noni. Formed in 2006 by graduates from the Korea National University of Arts, the group consists of artists dedicated to traditional Korean culture, whether it's traditional dance, music or visual arts.

They aim to find ways to connect with contemporary audiences while respecting the past.

Director Kyung hee Kim intends ‘to ravish the five senses' with his playful, onomatopoeic collage of scenes from the villages. There will be puppets. There will be masks.

There will even be dancing shadows. All set to music. Get set for a journey to places you've never visited before, a combination of the exotic and the familiar, of unusual stories and universal truths.