Entertainment unplugged

For Metro Plus: "Cut of the Hamlet" comedy play at Sivagami Pothachi Auditorium, Mylapore in Chennai.

For Metro Plus: "Cut of the Hamlet" comedy play at Sivagami Pothachi Auditorium, Mylapore in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: K. N. MURALIDHARAN

"The Cut of Hamlet", staged by Evam, was a laugh riot till the end

It was like one of those much-awaited rock shows. First, an opening act by a band trying to find its feet to get you warmed up before the seniors blow you off yours. Evam's "The Cut of Hamlet" was somewhat like that.While "The Cut... ," suitably adapted from Ed Monk, directed by Karthik Kumar and Sunil Vishnu, worked as an opening act with its raw talent and individual moments of brilliance, Evam's energised version of `Hamlet,' adapted from Reduced Shakespeare Company and directed by Michael Muthu, was what you came to spend your money on: unadulterated entertainment.

Fresh talent

Though a tad long, especially with its predictable narrative, "The Cut... ," performed by an all-new young cast and produced by a largely debutant crew, was only worth sitting through because of the fresh talent.The pick of the lot was Gokul, a Class 11 student who played Satan, sure to bring a smile on your face with his natural flair for comic timing. The fact that the play with the-play-within-the-play-within-the-play-within-the-play-and-so-on-structure did not take itself seriously ensured that any flaws in dialogue delivery could always be attributed to shoddy performances of actors within the play-within-the-play and so on."We didn't expect people to go `Wow'. We wanted them to say: "Hmmm... Interesting," admits Sunil. "Even lights and sound were done by newcomers. We were there helping the process to happen. What happens in a workshop usually is that they only learn a certain amount of acting. So our funda was that they will also do sound, lights, source props, set design, costume design, marketing, promos and production apart from just acting so that they know how it all works. Hopefully, we are looking at a new set of people who are enthusiastic."Just as you are pondering over your token investment in actors with a learner's licence during the break time, the professionals storm in with their version of `Hamlet'. Karthik Kumar (Hamlet), Sunil Vishnu (Horatio and Laertes) and Karthik Srinivasan (Ophelia, Lady Gertrude) not just made sure that it looked genuinely spontaneous and improvised, they made sure every single person in the audience participated in the hilarious farce.When Karthik Kumar ran into the crowd and actors turned cheerleaders for Ophelia's scream sequence, the Sivagami Pethachi auditorium came alive like a stadium as one section of the crowd went: "Maybe Maybe not," another went: "Cut the crap. My biological clock is ticking. I want babies" and one other volunteer was bullied into running between wickets.The guys from Evam, however, seemed to be critical of themselves at the end of it. "It should have got over faster. It just went on too long," said director Michael Muthu.In case you missed it, you can still catch up on the riot at Sivagami Pethachi on Friday 7.15 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. and 7.15 p.m. Tickets are available at 9840222363.SUDHISH KAMATH

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