Lacklustre performances by contestants at school art fete
The Mono Act event at the State School Art fest seems to be caught in a time warp. The winds of nuanced acting are yet to blow into these stages.
So, one still has to grapple with a lot of screaming, over-the-top expressions and the same set of ‘serious topics’, barring one or two exceptions.
At the competitions for the higher secondary level, the dearth of variety in subjects was glaring. In the boys’ competition, a part from Benyamin’s novel ‘ Aadujeevitham ’ was performed by no less than three participants, and in the girls’ event, Malala made her appearance twice.
In some cases, even the introductory dialogues were repeated verbatim, which perhaps points to lazy gurus handing over the same template to all their students. Some of the stand-out performances included an item linking the Eklavya-Drona story to the severing of a teacher’s hand by fundamentalists in Kerala few years ago, a parody of a popular reality show, and an exploration of the relationship between Pandit Ravi Shankar and his estranged wife Annapurna.
But the event was weighed down by serious subjects, with elements of humour being few and far in between. This ‘seriousness’ was reflected in the acting, which bordered on the hysteric.
As if churned out from a factory, several elements like the quivering voice of a frail old woman, the voice of a TV reporter, and general movements on stage were often repeated. So, if the Mono Act event can be considered a showcase of our future actors, there is only a faint glimmer of hope.