Theatre

'Two Adorable Losers': a jab at society

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If a person speaks fluent English, why is he considered knowledgeable? Abhishek Pattnaik’s Two Adorable Losers addresses this question

What kind of conversations would an outspoken, humorous professor and an introvert student have? How will they help each other overcome their inhibitions? And, more importantly, if a person speaks fluent English, does that make him knowledgeable? Ninety-one shows and 19 states later, Two Adorable Losers once again poses these questions in the premise of a teacher-student relationship. Simplicity looms large in this play by Out of the Box productions which comes to the city for its first public show, this weekend.

When Mumbai-based theatre practitioner Abhishek Pattnaik conceptualised the story and wrote a script about eight years back, he had envisioned two characters: one was based on his father and the other, his best friend. This led to the birth of Jolly Mohapatra, a 52-year-old Statistics professor who doesn’t speak good English, and Akshay, a young adult who is not very keen in academics. This story, directed by Murtuza Kutianawala, took to stage for the first time in 2014.

'Two Adorable Losers': a jab at society

“I studied in a ‘convent’ school. I felt that those who spoke fluent English were knowledgeable. But this notion started breaking slowly as I grew older and met more people,” recalls Abhishek adding the play addresses this very notion using humour as a tool. He continues, “My father was the best example for this. He is from Odisha, was not fluent in English but had no qualms about it.”

To talk about this idea, the artiste felt that the best medium was the teacher-student relationship. “It’s a universal relationship and we also felt that humour was the best tool to put across any message,” continues Abhishek, who will be playing Professor Jolly Mohapatra while Darsheel Safary, who gained stardom through his début film Tare Zameen Par, will play Akshay. How the relationship between the two evolves over time, takes the plot forward.

According to Abhishek, although a situational comedy, the play, which has been played in many schools and educational institutions, is heavily driven by the two characters. “In a farcical, you can use slapstick comedy to keep the audience entertained. Here, the humour flows through these characters. The moment the characters are registered, the humour starts flowing,” says Abhishek of the challenges involved in dealing with comedy, especially on stage.

So, can Two Adorable Losers be considered a blow to the educational system in India? “No, it is more of a jab at society. Even parents coerce their children into speaking in English once they step out of the house. It has more to do with the mindset of people around us, more than the educational system,” says Abhishek who hopes that the play would initiate a dialogue among youngsters.

The play, which has been brought to Chennai by Act 1 Scene 1, will be on January 27, at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao auditorium, Harrington Road at 7 pm. Tickets are priced at ₹499, ₹750, ₹1,000, ₹1,500 and ₹2,000 and can be booked at bookmyshow.com. There will be a 50% discount for Armed Forces, senior citizens and the differently-abled.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 9:59:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/darsheel-safary-on-stage-in-two-adorable-losers/article26079238.ece

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