ADA (Absolute Dramatics Addiction), a dramatics club of MIT, organized a two-play centrestage, Tamasha, on the 11th of September (Sunday) at 6 p.m. at the AC Seminar Hall in AB-2. The show was open to everyone, and entailed no entry fee.
The first play, Do-nar, scripted by Rahul Pareek, was a story of two friends, Raghav (played by Raghav Agrawal) and Rahul (played by Rahul Pareek), feat. Rahul’s plant.
Centred on sperm donation, the play showed a constant tiff between the two of them as to whose sperm was better. The disclaimer itself was a hint to how entertaining this play was going to be. The play started off with the Dance Reapers dancing to a track from the movie, Fan. The actors did an excellent job with the execution, sending the audience to splits by throwing the hilarious dialogues with just the right amount of exclamation and ‘drama’. The command over language was excellent and the actors really knew what they were doing. College mischief, occasional swearing, college jokes, friendship hacks – the play was relatable on many levels. It was a very lively play with instances of rap here and there, and audio effects (and oh, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham!) adding to the jollity of the play. Rahul tries playing the hero with his sperm exchange stunt, but is counter-pranked by Raghav, as revealed in the last scene. The last scene was a transition to the future, where Raghav receives pictures of his(?) kids!
Also, good job with the name!
However, the play lacked story (as was warned in the disclaimer) and dragged slightly in some parts. Beating around the bush, as some would call it. Sound effects were pretty good, but lighting could have been better. Although the play had more than its fair share of humour, some jokes could have been better-timed so as to avoid monotony in certain segments.
Overall, despite its flaws, the play was one of the most entertaining plays staged in Manipal in a long time. It managed to keep the audience entertained and laughing their hearts out to the ‘raita’ being spilled right there!
The second play, named Shades, was an absolute opposite of the first in terms of mood. Starring centrestage debutante, Shatabdi Chaudhuri, as Neha, Mithil Raj Goswami as Neha’s Dadu, and President, Utkarsh Srivastava, as Neha’s beau, Aryan, the play was also Deepanwita Roy’s debut as a scriptwriter. The play started with a casual conversation between Neha and Dadu in the setting of their home, with Aryan’s appearance in the next scene. The actors did a perfect job getting into character, and kept the audience’s eyes glued to them. With very subtle hints here and there, the play had a terrific climax. Mysterious, brisk expression changes; the vagueness in some of ‘reformed’ criminal, Aryan’s dialogues; mentions of his blue car – these and other aspects successfully brought about the element of suspense. The highlight of the play, and perhaps the evening, was the spine-chilling last scene, giving the viewers goosebumps as the true ‘shades’ of psychopath, Aryan, are unleashed. Neha, Dadu and especially, Aryan (yes, he gets a special mention for his splendid acting in this scene) stole the show in this last scene. The sound and light effects were on point, leaving the audience clutching onto their seats.
On the flip side, the dialogues could have been framed better. The pronunciation of dialogues lacked clarity in some parts. Transitions between scenes weren’t really smooth and props could have been used better. Here too, there was some unnecessary dragging in between, where the story seemed to be losing pace. The climax, however, made up for it and made for a thrilling watch for the audience.
Although execution could have been better on certain fronts, hats off to Sameer Tyagi and Siddharth Nambiar for the excellent direction. ADA balanced the evening perfectly with just the right amount of liveliness and seriousness. With all that and a full house, ADA surely has secured its place in the hearts of Manipalites.
-Priyanjali Roychoudury for MTTN