Laughter Comes In Its Best Form At The Mon-Key Shanti Theatre Festival- Day 1

Laughter truly is the best medicine, there can be nothing better than to hold on to your stomach and roll on the floor laughing to the content of your heart. But in today’s stressful life, laughter doesn’t come easy and at such a time the Mon-Key Shanti Theatre Festival by 3 Bells Productions came in as a perfect rescue. Its a two day long theatre festival that brings five of the country’s top running shows, not just comedy but also some soul searching dramas. This was the second season for the festival and I am sure it would be much more successful than their earlier edition.

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Today being the first day, two shows were planned and both were in the genre of comedy. The first play was ‘Perfect Wedding’. An English Comedy Play ‘Perfect Wedding’, directed by Dushyant Babbar is a laughter riot with chaos and confusion created by an appalling situation.

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A bridegroom wakes on his wedding morning in his own bridal suite, with his bride-to-be about to arrive any moment, and finds a strange girl in bed beside him. What’s more an extremely attractive girl whom, in the depths of his post stag-night hangover, he can’t remotely remember even having been introduced to. Worse – during the ensuing panic to get the stranger dressed and out of the way, the bride arrives, the girl is trapped in the bathroom, the best man pretends the hidden girl is his girl friend, his real girl friend has to be kept ignorant of the fact, and the hotel chamber maid gets mistaken for everybody’s girl friend. By the time the bride’s parents and half the hotel staff get in on the act, the chaos reaches nuclear proportions! It is that rare combination – a riotous comedy and a touching love story at the same time.

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Dushant’s direction and his acting, both were commendable. He was simply the show stealer with his spontaneous act. Also the show is written very well, the dialogues are real and one can easily relate to them, they are simple to understand and yet very impactful. I loved the play and thoroughly enjoyed the confusions. There was a subtle message in the play that one needs to really be very sure of the decisions we make in life and especially like getting married to someone. One should not just go by what others say but really evaluate if we have found the right person and then only take such a big decision of life.

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Written and directed by M. Sayeed Alam, a political science teacher-turned-full time-theatre practitioner ‘Cut…Cut…Cut’ was the second show of the evening and having seen Ghalib in Delhi by Sayeed Alam, my expectations from this show were super high and I wasn’t disappointed a bit. Slapstick comedy which is built in day to day situations is an art that Sayeed Alam captures very well in his plays.

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Tragedy for them…comedy for us ‘CutCutCut’ comically deals with the chaos, catastrophes and calamities that strike Pierrot’s Troupe whenever it rehearses a play.
In the process, the play brings forth funny characters; hilarious situations; comic relationships and bizarre events, besides taking an amusing look into many more problems that a theatre group faces.

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The play opens with the director being stressed and harassed rehearsing for his upcoming show with his bunch of actors and the script writer whose only job is to correct the horribly wrong accent or ‘Talafuz’ (as called in the play) of the actors. The ego clashes between the director and script writer leave people in splits. The comedy isn’t forced, but built in beautifully in the situations. As they day of performance comes nearer, the irritation of the director keeps increasing, and so does the chaos. Finally the day of performance arises and is showcased very beautifully with both back stage and on stage drama. How the director keeps improvising his actors and prompts them to do better, his frustration on their wrongs and constant contrast of backstage and on stage is sheer fun to watch.

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Harish Chabbra who plays the role of the director was truly the show stopper. His acting skills are remarkable and the ease that he brings about in his dialogue delivery and his comic timing is just super. Rest of the cast was commendable as well. I really enjoyed the show and look forward to more shows by Pierrot’s Troupe as I have become a big fan of Sayeed Alam’s direction.

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It was a Saturday well spent and I am so looking forward to the plays scheduled for tomorrow. If you have missed being at the Mon- Key Shanti Theatre Festival today, please don’t miss it tomorrow. They have some amazing shows lined up. ‘Uproute’ which is a physical theatre piece exploring the subject of home and exile, based on three of Miguel Cervantes’ Exemplary Novels. The performance consists of three short pieces that explore the aforementioned recurring themes in Cervantes’ writing.
Mahesh Dattani’s ‘Dance Like A Man’ centres on an individual’s plight, where a dying form of art serves as the backdrop.
And ‘MASSAGE’ that tells the story of Happy Kumar, a common man who comes to the big city of Mumbai with his pockets empty but dreams of becoming a hero. He passes through ups and downs, successes and failures, hope and despair, joys and sorrows, lanes and by lanes of the city. In this two-hour monologue, Rakesh Bedi enacts 24 different characters.

For tickets and other queries, do follow 3 Bells Productions and make most of The Mon-Key Shanti Theatre Festival.Enjoy!

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