Monday, June 30, 2008

Doubles, Triples and Quadruples (2008)

I admire Evam, even envy them. Karthik Kumar and Sunil Vishnu decided to quit their cushy corporate jobs to pursue their dream of a career in theatre .For the last four years they have been doing a very good job of regularly bringing in quality theatre. Thanks to my friends, I have had a chance to meet them and really like what they do and how they go about it.

Over the weekend at Rangashankara, Evam premiered their newest production -Doubles, Triples and Quadruples- a collection of short plays. The choice of plays was eclectic ranging from comical, to new found/ long lost loves, bizarre and portrayal of urban angst.Nothing wrong in that, but to convincingly shift from one mood/ setting to another, everything about the play needed to be absolutely top notch.

The lighting was haphazard, dialogue delivery not comprehensible at places and some of the performances left a lot to be desired. The acts that did work, included the newly married couple (Karthik and Kalyani) effectively bringing out their trepidations and doubts at the threshold.Albert & Sue (Sunil & Kalyani) “meeting “outside their counselor’s office having spent weeks observing each other seemed real and the foursome on the phone had the entire audience in splits. The rest were amateur in their portrayal and it almost seemed like an attempt to pack in as many emotions as one could in the 2 odd hours.

However Shakila Arun was an exception as she shone through all her performances. A truly versatile artiste who morphed effortlessly as she portrayed a 13 year old, a prostitute, a counselor and one scorned in love.

The interludes, which had the actors coming on stage to do a monologue was an interesting break between the plays which gave an insight to the actor’s personalities. Karthik Srinivisan’s confession of his first love and why it remained unfulfilled was truly endearing.

The collection of plays was compared to a wine drinking experience, packing in several emotions and culminating with a high. Definitely that didn’t happen for me, but sincerely hope like the wines, they do get better with age and more shows. Karthik and Sunil do need to live up to the high standards they have so wonderfully set for themselves.

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