Mouse and Positions #2 at Ranga Shankara

The First City Theatre Foundation, a Delhi-based group, is staging “Mouse” and “Positions #2” at Ranga Shankara today and tomorrow, the 5th of April, 2008, at 7.30pm.

mouse and positions #2 rs 040308

(Publicity Design, Yashas Chandra)

Today’s show made it immediately apparent that we had a director, playwright (Neel Chaudhuri) and cast which are a force to reckon with.

The first play, “Mouse”, is a play about a “monologue without words”. The person who plays the character, “Mouse”, and the director, Maya Puri, interact and several issues are thrown up…powerful performances by Kriti Pant and Momo Ghosh. When an actor has a mask on, and yet manages to convey deep emotion so well, one is impressed.

scene from mouse rs 040408

(A scene from “Mouse”)

After a ten-minute break, we had six vignettes: sleepers awake, winter bliss, tilted, icing gun/disco ball, tadpoles, and lovers die.

These were true “slices of life”…humour, relationships, lust, the urban employer’s insensitivity towards domestic help…all of these were bound up in a deftly interwoven, yet independent pastiche of six stories, with true-to-life dialogue, that the actors delivered well. And the end of the last story brought us back to the opening of the first… a very well-written and complex piece, that I really admired.

scene from vignette rs 040408

(A scene from “Positions #2”)

The cast, apart from Momo Ghosh and Kriti Pant, comprised the equally talented Arunabha Deb and Atreyee Majumdar. There was a lot of Bengali dialogue in the tableaus, but nothing that the audience could not understand; but it was striking to see so many Bengali actors and the Bengali touches (“let’s go to Keventer’s and have a milk shake or something!”) in a theatre group that is from Delhi!

Fairly complex lighting by Rahul Rai, excellent music by Sama Grewal, good production values from Kuhu Tanvir, all added to the appeal of the plays.

Stage properties were stored right on stage; that was innovative, and they were quickly brought forward or taken to the background.

The brochure was also very well designed, and was very informative.

These plays are being staged as a tribute to J T M Gibson on his birth centenary, by the Mayo Association of Southern India, who, among various other achievements, was actively involved with theatre at Mayo College.

I have only one negative to record…2 hours and 20 minutes (including the intermission) is a very long stretch for the audience, and I do hope they all had transportation to get home at nearly 10pm….perhaps the time could be shortened a little.

Strongly recommended, even though tickets are Rs. 200 apiece! (English play ticket rates have shot up from Rs.100 to Rs.200 suddenly..surely too steep a change at one go.)

Contact 98860 25725 for tickets; the Ranga Shankara landline no. is 2659 2777.

2 Comments so far

  1. anushsh on April 5th, 2008 @ 2:18 am

    Lovely writeup.

  2. sunil on April 5th, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    Nice writeup.

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