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Ouch! This play is a hit!

ROMESH CHANDER

It is the season for "Ouch!" for theatre lovers in New Delhi. Ready for more?



FOR THE YOUTH A scene from the play "Ouch!"

This past week the Basement Theatre of Habitat Centre was jam-packed with MTV generation and if their reaction is any indication, the play "Ouch!" could run for weeks on end for there is a large young audience in metropolitan cities to lap it up.

The story of how "Ouch!" came about is interesting. Some two years back Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, had asked Jyoti Dalal to translate into English Lutz Hubner's "Creeps".

The play went on Mumbai's stage for a short run under the original German title. "Ouch!" is an adaptation of Dalal's "Creeps" in English.

Having not read Dalal's translation it is difficult to say how much of Sohaila Kapur's "Ouch!" had retained Dalal's translation.

Then again, since there was no programme brochure, nor any reference to the group presenting the play, may we add that the play was presented by Sohaila Kapur Productions and directed by Sohaila who wears many hats as an actor, director, researcher, writer, journalist, anchor and much more.

"Ouch!" is a story of three young women - Jasmine Junena alias Jojo, Poornima and Meenu - auditioning for a TV show.

To create the atmosphere, the presentation makes ample use of popular music, dance and video to carry the story forward but what really goes down well with the young audience is the language and mannerism of the cast that establishes an immediate rapport with the audience.

Histrionic talent

The presentation features three brilliant young players who seem to have inherited histrionic talent from their parents. Bakul Dua is the daughter of TV anchor Vinod Dua who before joining TV made quite a name for himself as an actor.

Bakul at present is a third year student at St. Stephen's College and has acted in many professional productions under some leading directors.

Bakul is a big name in university theatre and we have seen her do some excellent roles.

Mallika Juneja is currently doing her Masters in English and is the daughter of one of Delhi's top actors, Banwari. And Shloka, a dancer-actress is Rashmi Vaidyalingam's daughter and is primarily a Kuchipudi dancer, at present learning from Raja and Radha Reddy.

She gives a very meaningful performance using beautiful movement and mudras.

Her eyes speak more than words and then there is the Radio Jockey mantra whom we have seen in some of the stage productions in Delhi.

In "Ouch!" he plays the director taking the audition and never appears on the stage and we only hear his voice.

He was a typical typecast as a jockey but the audience seemed to like his comments and remarks.

The young ladies however not only spoke well but also played their roles to the hilt.

They all have immense talent and with some professional training and experience could be the stars of tomorrow on Delhi stage.

The production on the whole is well played but unfortunately the video part of it is rather weak and at times badly shot.

Then again, the anchor is very much typecast but the audience seems to like him.

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