Monday, June 11, 2007

Please veil it back again

I could have gone to the Hyfic's screenings of Woyzeck and Nosferatu; I could have watched the Federer-Nadal match. Instead, I decided to - don't ask me why, I've been asking myself the same question again and again - watch a play.

Now, that's not such a bad thing, unless it happens to be English Theatre in Hyderabad, and happens to be a terribly written play, with stilted dialogues and no drama or anything else to recommend it, called Unveil The Sun. You will notice, from the review I've linked to, that the reviewer of the Delhi Metro Plus seems to think it's a pretty darned good play.

Now, the play, written by Amrit Kent, is timely because it is about Rumi in a year dedicated to his 800 Birth Anniversary. Unfortunately, the play is a series of very short scenes with - at least in this production - several drastic set changes required between each scene. It started with a Quwwali performance and every once in a while had very bad Kathak dancers dancing to Mukesh (played back on tape, and stopped every now and then with a slow screech). Then some dude we couldn't see took over and some Nritta happened to the accompaniment of dizzying changes of light gels, no doubt signifying ecstasy and bliss.

The guys playing Rumi and Shams were, luckily, fairly decent actors, but not even they could save the production from being endless and boring. Tickets were priced at 300 bucks, which, considering the school-level production values, were terribly steep. During set changes, everyone used torches to see their way around on the set. This was actually the most interesting part of the play; if you were close enough, you could hear them curse at each other in fierce whispers and if you weren't, you could spend a pleasant ten minutes imagining their conversations, and hoping someone would drop heavy furniture on someone else's foot.

My favourite part of the play was watching Rumi deep in existential angst, staring soulfully outside the window of his madarsa, straight at a Tata Indicom poster tacked on the sidewall of the stage. Put spirituality in perspective, that did.

6 comments:

Falstaff said...

You read that review and still went for the play?! It made the play sound so phoney. And this when you had the option of watching Herzog? *shakes head in disbelief*

Space Bar said...

Falstaff: You kidding?! If I'd read that review, I'd have run twenty miles without stopping for second wind. I googled the play and that review turned up. That's when I realised that this travesty of a play had been perpetrated on more than one city.

I went because it was Rumi. Wish I'd read that review...

Jabberwock said...

You do realise that "spaniard in the works" is a very apt description of Nadal vis-a-vis Federer's French Open aspirations?

Space Bar said...

Jabberwock: You know, I wish I'd watched that match! If only to do a Spaniard post about it. Sigh...

Swar Thounaojam said...

Oh Oh Oh...I was forced to watch this play based on Chekhov's stories/plays , directed by a Hyd guy. Before the play began, an actress ran outta the wings to hug her friends (what love, i say)who had come to watch the play! As the theatre had no acoustics, mikes were used. The play begins, an actor (the director himself btw) is reading, the mikes screech and jesus, the actor scowls for a good 25 secs at the sound guys up in the console behind the audience! I stopped watching the play and decided to watch the audience who were mainly parents, friends, neighbours and relatives of the actors.

Space Bar said...

Swar; Sounds like much fun! I was watching the lighting ramp on the top...since I could only see the back of the heads. And are you saying something about hyd?!