Well-adapted, yet…

Fruit of labour: The plays were a result of an elaborate workshop Photos: Bhagya Prakash K., Sampath Kumar G.P.  

Bangalore Little Theatre in association with Alliance Francaise presented a five-day theatre festival this month. The participants, in a three-month long workshop, learnt direction and stage management. Among the plays that were performed were A Miner Scam and Moliere Tonight.

Directed by Srividya Srinivas and Abhishek Sundaravadanan, A Miner Scam, an adaptation of Bernard-Marie Koltès’ play Black Battles with Dogs, tells a tale of murder, loss and intrigue set in Karnataka’s murky mining belt, Bellary. A miner is murdered by a site engineer in a fit of rage. A loyal friend of the miner comes to the mine manager’s house to collect the body, who uses guile to dissuade him from claiming it. The friend does not waver from his stand.

High production standards

This was one of the few plays in which production standards were high. The stage and set designs by Art and Revolution Institution and Gallery and Pradeep Gulur were impeccable. The entrance was designed in a way that felt like one was entering a mine. The lights, even if they flashed brightly for intense scenes, were mostly dim, further enhancing the gloominess. Except for Bharath Kashyap, who played the lead role, the other cast members kept moving out of character and in some parts, weren’t quite sure how to perform their respective roles.

The sets, though minimal, were effective. And the occasional whistling of the night guards as the only music helped create a murky atmosphere. Introducing Kannada and Hindi into the script made it more authentic, though the many digressions in the script, left one wondering what the play was really about.

Moliere Tonight, an adaptation of Vijay Padaki’s Moliere Alive!, dealt with a completely different theme. The play is really an in-depth analysis of the legendary French playwright, Moliere’s plays, told through a situation in which a theatre company meets in Bangalore at a Moliere theme party.

The group takes excursions through six of Moliere’s plays to discover that his plays are as relevant today as they were 400-odd years ago. The group finds parallels between his plays and their lives. The approach to Moliere’s plays was both unique as well as scholarly.

Directed by Priya Venkatesh, Padmaja Nagarur and Priya Rao, Moliere Tonight had some fine moments, in which some performances were entertaining, while others were inconsistent. Overall, the production was competent.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:22:12 PM |

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