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Keeping theatre alive

Sutradhar’s presentation was a good display of amateur talent



On stage A scene from the play

A housewife loses her diamond ring, her husband suspects the supposedly deaf servant, the husband’s boss wants to have ‘real’ fun at his employee’s house and two con men bungle up. These are the essential components of the plot in the play Ek se Badhkar Ek.

The mini amphitheatre at Saptaparni, Banjara Hills, packed to the rafters for Friday evening’s play, which was presented by Sutradhar.

The presentation marked the 17 th workshop production of the theatre group and saw the cast of the evening’s play comprise of, mostly, amateur artistes, making their stage debut.

The play, which is an adaptation of a Telugu comedy and was titled to be rendered in English, ended up being a melting pot of languages, as colloquialism was the lingua franca of the evening. This indeed made many in the audience guffaw uncontrollably whenever something funny was enacted. It also left some confounded as they tried to decipher the colloquial and often vague phrases and dialogues!

Since the actors are mostly amateurs who have undergone training at Sutradhar workshops, due credit must be given to them for bringing hilarity to the fore. The debutants come from varied professional walks. For instance, one is a pizza guy, another a COO of a software firm, one a student fresh out of engineering college and one has even given up his corporate life for love of the theatre. This clearly signals that the ‘once thought to be dead (or at least dormant)’ art of theatre is alive and kicking in the Hyderabadi realms of art.

As far as the content of the play is concerned, one would have been in for some rude jolts along the way. While the play was hilarious, no doubt, there was a desperate attempt to tickle the audience with the use of obscene, at times repulsive, gestures and language. The audience was made up of families — children, young people and elderly people as well. When ever something obscene was enacted or said, the levels of discomfort and embarrassment were plain to see on the faces of the socially sensitive audience. A fashion designer by profession, one member from the audience felt “the play would have been suitable for a college crowd, where sensitivities wouldn’t be that much offended.”

KENNETH DAMARA

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