‘Massage’ By Rakesh Bedi, a true massage for your emotions!

Massage is a play that really massages your emotions. No words can really express the roller coaster ride of emotions that one goes through while watching the play. From laughter, to the agony of struggle, love, betrayal, guilt, it has heavy doses of everything. The best and the most unique part about this play is that one single person portrays all these emotions and that’s none other than super talented actor Rakesh Bedi.

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It’s a monologue and he enacts 24 characters in the play and each one of them is a treat to watch. The ease with which Rakesh gets into the skin of each character is commendable. His voice modulation, his walk, his gestures, his expressions, everything changes in a flash of a second as he walks in and out of one character to the other. I have been watching Rakesh Bedi in movies and TV serials and have always been an admirer of his effortless and spontaneous acting, but to perform alone, non-stop for two hours, without any scope of cuts and improvisations and play so many characters is another level. I truly respect him now as an actor after watching this show and I am sure anyone who ever watches this show cannot ignore the efforts put in by Rakesh to make this show a success. I saw the show last week and here I am writing about it after almost 10 days, because the show kept growing on me, there have been instances where certain scenes of the play just flash in front of my eyes and I long to see it again.


‘MASSAGE’ 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. Rakesh Bedi’s enact of 24 different characters range from a Punjabi film producer to a South Indian actress and a Bihari politician. Happy Kumar leaves the film industry to become a gym instructor and then destiny takes a turn. The title MASSAGE refers to the massage of a person’s emotional state of mind. Though unable to realize his dream of becoming a hero, Happy Kumar is a happy loser. All his characters are noteworthy, but a few need a special mention. His portrayal of Kohli Saab, the producer with over the top Punjabi mannerisms, is simply amazing. The way Bedi changes his voice and his body language, you can actually visualize Kohli, a fat surd who talks loud, drinks a couple of pegs and gets emotional. Though Bedi doesn’t use a single prop to depict all of this, but you can see. His role as Minister’s PA, Pandey with his slurred speech is commendable and I think his best ever. The way he enacts scenes with so much finesse you almost forget that he is performing alone; you can actually visualize the entire scene and see other characters also. The scene where Heroine’s mother molests him in the music room, his walking up the stairs of his chawl, or massaging the back of Mrs. Kohli, every moment can be sensed, felt and seen.


Towards the climax, when Rakesh is reading a letter left behind by his wife Shanta, he exudes so much pain in his voice that your heart reaches out to him.


I feel privileged to not just have seen this show but also met this legendry actor in person where he shared his journey with this show that started 13 years ago. Check out what he had to say

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Watching ‘Massage’ was really a massage for all my emotions and I loved it so much that I am eagerly waiting for it to happen again. I would like to thank and appreciate the efforts out in by 3 Bells Productions in getting best of the plays in this two day Mon – Key Shanti Theatre Festival and I look forward to many more events by them. Wishing them luck and 3 cheers for Mr. Rakesh Bedi.

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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