Monday, April 29, 2013

UNCOMMON DIALOGUES (SHORT PLAYS) - ENGLISH


DRAMANON Presents UNCOMMON DIALOGUES
VENUE : NIFT Auditorium
Date : 10th March 2013

An extract from the brochure provided with the ticket

About the Play : 

Two best friends talk about seeing the thing while two strangers want to end their lives on a ledge. He and She talk about it while a boss discusses outsourcing "it" altogether A businessman finds out what lemonade is worth, another man makes business out of death while a teenager wants to absolved.

MY REVIEW

In brief, UNCOMMON DIALOGUES is a collection of 6 short plays which have nothing in common and yet there is one thing that is similar in each, each one is witty in its own way. You can't say that they are comical or ironical but while a few of the 6 plays are, a few are not now let me detail each play and review it as I understood them.

ABSOLUTION

Written by William Reynolds and performed by Saurabh Sensharma as "The Father" and Abhishek Krishnan as "Robert D'souza", this play brings about a question as to what is a sin, what does absolution in true sense means. Can one be absolved of a crime by confessing in front a priest. Is murder a sin, or lying to priest for the fun is a sin. Now, Robert comes to Father and confesses he has killed someone. The Father who has not got any interesting confession in the recent past gets involved in the details of the murder so much that he confesses, his life is a big bore and there is nothing much to do. And then he learns that the kid Robert was just making it up and it was a lie, infuriated by this, he says lying to him is like lying to god and thus it goes forward.

Performed superbly by both the actors, this is one interesting play, that takes its time to get us engaged and then is resolved by the absolution. I loved it and it was a wonderful way to begin the evening

OUTSOURCED

Written by Gary Stowe and performed by Harika Vedula Stephen as "Katherine Landy" and Priyanka Dasgupta as "Paula", this is one of the most funniest plays of the evening I must say, as it made me laugh more than the above play did and never did I laugh so much in later plays. Now this play is about outsourcing rather, arranging someone to go for the 10th Anniversary date with Katherine's husband. Paula takes care of all the details in a typical corporate manner, right from what kind of lady she wants to what to do about the "night" after the dinner. So arranging an escort for a dinner is fine but to give room for someone else to even sleep, hmm, something to think about. I can divulge more details of this, but keeping it as a surprise, coz I wat to see it again and make others see this too.

It was detailed and intense, from the pen sound that is made when Katherine says "After foreplay, it's all": and the pen sound starts to symbolize what it is all about. So without speaking much, so much was conveyed and just to end by making us know that the husband had also arranged someone for our "Katherine"

The diction and the expressions of Harika were top notch and was superbly supported by Priyanka.

THE ARRANGEMENT

Here we have a kid persuaded by Father into an Arrangement of becoming a man and again a afunny piece of writing this. I am so absorbed to divulge the details but I am restraining myself from doing that.

Wonderfully performed by R.K.Shenoy as Father and Saurabh Sensharma as son and Harika, this one by Neil Simon has an irony of sorts, where the Father too is wooed in doing something he would have done when young and yet holds back. Now, before I say too much. I am shutting myself up and leaving the readers to please see it.

THE DROWNING MAN

This was a less interesting act, compared to all the above acts. This one written by Neil Simon again, who indeed is a master in writing irony superbly. Here too, the irony is revealed, or the double mindedness which leads to something uncalled for is known only after the final act of each play. Though it generally takes by surprise at the end, I was predicting the end as it seemed to be a school time parable stuff than a witty act of play. 

Saurabh Sensharma and Rohit Kumar came to the party and RK Shenoys brief appearance took audience into splits. It's tough to resist laughs when such humour is sprawled by such a fine actor in Shenoy. It was indeed good, but a tad below other acts.

HE/SHE/IT

A marriage is falling apart between He and She. The reason is simple difference of opinion. Two people talk and again as audience we are compelled to hear and indeed indulge and here have an opinion too. Such is the power of writing combined with compelling performances. This one by Jan Baross is one well written act. It's an issue that most of us can relate to, though many would not seek to do, what the couple here sought. Yet, it looks interesting to be trying to do something like this. Now what is interesting and what was done, go find it.

Thanks to Harika yet again for doing a wonderful job as She and she was complemented well by Prashant Yerramalli

SEEING THE THING


This came in and made me question as to how really things are, are they how we look at them or are they completely different and it's our perception after all. The above 5 plays were all that, and could have been interpreted in many more ways having deeper meanings, yet our narrowed view gives us a one dimensional look and that may not be the right thing. This was elaborated by John Cariani (from Almost Maine).

Performed by Priyanka Dasgupta and Saurabh Sensharma, this was the only act which seemed a bit longer than it really was.

Finally, thanks to the whole crew of DRAMANON for having come up with such simplistic backdrops and 2 character acts and proving yet again that if content is right, presentation and performances fall in place making it a must watch rather than a passable watch. Thanks to RK Shenoy, the Dramanon head for giving me such a wonderful evening.

It was night where I saw two bright stars shining high above and they were Harika Vedula and Saurabh Sensharma. 


A 4/5 for the acts put together and I would definitely make a point to watch this few more times and indeed with few more friends. 

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