The classic British comedy, ‘Habeaus Corpus’ was presented by the city-based theatre group Dramatic Circle
After a long gap, the Dramatic Circle Hyderabad, presented a two-act British comedy titled Habeas Corpus written by Alan Bennett, at Ravindra Bharati.
It was nice to see the old theatre group and its members like Vijay Marur, B.S. Prakash back in action, with Pranava Singhal directing the play.
The play revolved around an ageing doctor Arthur Wicksteed and his sexual overtures towards patients, especially women. . The doctor’s wife in turn is lusting after Sir Percy Shorter, the head of the British Medical Association. Sir Percy and Wicksteed are old rivals.
In comes Felicity Rumpers, a nubile patient and Dr.Wicksteed goes all over her, not knowing that Sir Percy is the father of Felicity.
The play shows the pervert nature of each character. A sales person who comes for a lingerie demo mistakes the doctor’s wife to be his client and starts the demo, over which the lady gets excited and tries to seduce him. The story takes a twist when the doctor’s son believes he has a strange illness and is to die in three months marries Felicity.
The daughter getting hooked to the sales guy forms rest of the story. .
The play was an adult comedy and it had its dose of a few risqué dialogues; however the flirting and smooching scenes did not look vulgar.
Lack of proper rehearsal seemed to dog the artistes as some scenes just dragged and the artistes were waiting for prompting. The opening scene where the characters are introduced was novel and showed the director’s deft touch.
The settings done by Aparna Karve were simple and good. Costumes by Monideepa Sen suited the mood of the play.
The artistes, although amateurs gavegood performances and everyone suited their roles aptly. Pranava Singhal tried his best to bring life into each character. While Ananda Shankar played the maid, Sampada and Aarti Phatarphekar were in the roles of the daughter and doctor’s wife.
B.S. Prakash as the head of BMA, Jayant Dwarakanath as Canon, Anuj Gurwara as the sales person, gave good performances. Vijay Marur as the Doctor looked hesitant, nevertheless suited the character very well. Simran as Felicity and Arvind Harinarayan as the son of the doctor gave worthy performances.
Madhu Swaminatahan as the mother of Felicity and Kamal Kasturi as the person who wants to commit suicide were also part of the play.
The show evoked good response and a good comeback by DCH.C. SURESH KUMAR