Theatre

Satire for the stage

theatre Y artists performing a rehearsal of their play gardYsh. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao   | Photo Credit: R_Shivaji Rao

There are some spaces where a sense of déjà-vu gradually engulfs and you are no more a mere spectator, but a player drawn into its vortex; and certainly, the more speculating kind this time around.

Eccentric world

theatre Y's “gardYsh” adapted to the stage from some of Hari Shankar Parsai's eccentric stories, aims to do just that. Written way back in the1960's, these stories have a rather unanticipated relevance to our 21st century world of corruption, red-tape, media frenzy, mob mentality and other such “succulent” news of everyday. How do we, as citizens bearing responsibilities, essentially react to them?

Adapting such stories to the stage could prove quite productive, since there is something of the psyche of the audience being targeted, a treatment of a subject that all of us have seen, experienced and felt.

According to Yog Japee, the director, Parsai has been the mainstay for this play. There is an earnest attempt to retain Parsai's central approach towards his social satires, where characters more than the setting held significance. Therefore, the setting is minimal and the characters are uniform. “The format is more like the grammar of street theatre brought onto the stage. There are no specific characters and through the narrative, they morph into one another. There is also live music; percussion, harmonium and such instruments to give an old time feel…”

The play is contemporary; social, political and personal and these dimensions always work well with an audience that also becomes a part of the play. It is only apt then that the narrative follows a reality gameshow format titled, “Kaun Banayega Karodon Ka Pati” (you would, of course, see the inherent sarcasm there) and the play seeks to answer three primary questions through retelling, re-visioning and exaggeration.

Preparation

True to any major production, the cast went through six months of practice sessions and the script evolved through the course of the many sessions, with the actors bringing in their own inputs.

The cast is a balanced mix of first timers and the experienced, and all of them were a part of the many voice training and acting workshops that theatre Y conducts on a regular basis. And that surfaced poignantly in the little presentation done exclusively for me. The use of space, the body movements and voice throw reflected the professional quality of the group and it was heartening to see excited and enthusiastic faces.

Here's a group that seems dynamic, yet grounded and not to mention highly entertaining. Catch this one and you will learn to love and protest against the many idiosyncrasies of the spicy quirks of life!

theatre Y's gardYsh

@ Alliance Francaise

When: Feb 11, 12, 13

Time: 4:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: Rs. 200

For tickets: Call 98840 70796/97 or log on to: www.indianstage.in

Niharika M. is a III B.A. Literature student at Stella Maris College.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:31:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/Satire-for-the-stage/article15165585.ece

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