Reality is not pleasant and our society, never perfect. In a series of skits, the theatre group Dramanon expressed this assertion in the form of short humorous interactions. The seventh edition of Comikaze was a fun-filled theatre extravaganza. Among the seven plays performed, three were from the Hyderabad chapter of Dramanon.
This skit was an adaptation of Harold Pinter’s ‘Victoria Station’, performed by Saurabh Sensharma and Rahul Premchander of the Hyderabad Chapter of Dramanon. The curtains were lifted to an almost auspicious lighting of a cigarette by an irritable cab controller. He calls upon a taxi driver to pick up a man arriving at Madgaon Station. But the Taxi driver seems all too lost in his thoughts, responding with vague and meaningless replies. What ensues is a conversation filled with frustration from one side and clueless indifference from the other. The exchange between the two was accompanied by a progressive background score. The sudden change in the cab driver’s demeanour towards the end left the audience utterly confused. It was a short act and though the performances were good, the skit was surely not a very humorous opening to the series.
The Secret of the Origin of the Mojo Man
We are all terrified of something in life. It might be a profoundly intellectual dilemma or a trivial thing, which scares us out of our wits. Mickey is terrified too – he is morbidly afraid of speaking to his crush Tanya. When his buddy declares that he has a newfound superpower of attracting the opposite species, he is visibly jealous and slightly angry. His anger is greatly accentuated upon hearing that his buddy had made out with Tanya. Sidharth Menon stuck to the role of a shy and emotional high schooler with dynamic fervour throughout, only sometimes a little unconvincing. The whole play rested on the performances of the three involved, with little emphasis on external effects. By the end, surely many were hoping to have had a friend like Mickey’s.
Fresh and New CIA torture techniques
A terrorist is captured but he doesn’t seem to give in to any kind of coercion. The CIA has devised a new strategy. They plan on torturing him into submission by making his family and friends undergo the treatment he despises the most, the haram life of a free American citizen. The pain that he underwent was well portrayed by Dhananjay Soin, he also aced the middle eastern accent in his English.
A waiter at a restaurant tries to outsmart a customer when he complains of having something out of place in his soup. The play featured RK Shenoy as a carefree Punjabi waiter while Saurabh Sensharma portrayed the frustrated Bengali customer. The waiter continuously tried new tactics to get out of the situation while the customer demands a replacement. The instance where the waiter equates all of the human experience to a guinea pig being experimented on caught the attention of everyone present. “We’re nothing but guinea pigs trapped in a fast food nation. We are all lab rats, life means nothing.” he proclaimed.
A Growing Problem
The Desire for love is a constant in life. Frank, at the age of sixty-eight, hopes to find love with Helen. But Helen is slightly hesitant because of a minor clash of opinion, while coping with the loss of her husband she fell for another and is unable to let go. She fell for the analgesic numbness induced by cannabis consumption. Frank being the prudent old man asks her to marry him, leaving her with a dilemma. Inlaid with slick puns and word-play the conversation between the duo stood out for its levity. Reuben Verghese played his part as the reluctant old man with finesse. Frank’s idiosyncracies were impressively captured by the actor. This play singularly reflected the vital contribution of the Costume and Set Design teams behind the production. The work put into making the youths look fifty years older clearly paid off. Also, notice the clever usage of a multipurpose flower vase.
A Wedding Story
A storyteller tries to walk us through a perfect fairy tale of a match made in heaven. But as we very well know, there is no perfect story in reality. So the couple in the story start correcting him as he goes on. The truth is humorous and brings out some facts that they would never admit. The continued tone of profanity that the production exhibited slowly betrayed its purpose of evoking laughter, remaining like an overstaying guest, purposeless and unavoidable.
Don’t we all look for some consolation for our torrential perturbation in the occasional wishful thought, worse is when such delusion becomes a priority. Sometimes we end up losing traction in this effort to find some contentment. The last act of the show revolved around this idea. Put forth in a rather poetic form consisting of three parts, this play was positively thought-provoking and proved to be an admirable ending to the show.
The emotions expressed by the actors were well amplified by the appropriately varying Light settings. The background score was in complete sync with the evolving plot. The effort put in by the directors, Sharath Menon and Ishani Sengupta, was clearly visible in the execution. Though all good things can still be better, Dramanon’s production was definitely worth the time and money. They certainly deserve appreciation for having the audacity to showcase a complete production with quirky skits and juxtaposing crude and refined humour.
Photographs: Tanushree Shivaram