The Big Bang Festival begins with a collaborated theatre show

Luckily for me, there are worse things to see than the Collaborated Theatre show that opens this year's multipart festival. It is exactly what its name suggests, consisting of a two-hour stretch of four 30-minute sketches by four prominent Chennai entertainment companies, ranging from the blithely amusing to the tremendously disturbing, from expressions of angst over Indian women and their “America mappillais” to violent rape and abuse scenes that leave the majority of the audience somewhat uneasy.

Well-received

The audience is small and seems to mainly consist of the performers' friends, family and acquaintances, but still, the performances are well-received. The second performance of the weekend, Archie, an adaptation of a musical based on the comic strip of the same name, has been much talked about and eagerly anticipated by the audience. I'm not familiar with the original comics, so I'm not entirely sure what's happening through most of the first act — but it's fairly easy to pick up the pieces in the ten minutes that follow. Archie and his friends are apparently meeting for the first time in 10 years at their high school reunion, where old flames are reignited, and new conflicts consequently spurred. The plot is predictable, but that's evidently not the point; the focus is on the music, and most of the singing is indeed well-rehearsed and performed, but the few seasoned performers and naturally talented (or extremely well-trained) singers do steal the spotlight.

There are a few technical difficulties, and on both days, there are large delays — but the organisers are sincerely apologetic. The festival's extensive time frame — rather than just being held over a few days, it will be spread out over three weekends in three consecutive months — gives people plenty of time and flexibility to attend it when it suits them. As long as the organisers build on their marketing and publicity measures over the months, they should hopefully draw larger crowds to the next performances.

The Big Bang Festival will continue this month and the next. For details such as dates and tickets, visit http://www.nicholasproductions.blogspot.in/

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012