“Pizzazz” at Alliance Francaise,13th Oct 07

I went to watch “PIzzazz” at Alliance Francaise on Saturday, the 13th of October. I had earlier watched one of their productions, “The Original Last Wish Baby”, and was keen to see how they would handle this comedy by Hugh Leonard.

The play borders on a farce; and is about relationships. Two strangers, Marion, and Dr. Conroy, are stranded on a boat jetty on the Irish river, the Shannon. There is a boat strike on, and Marion has her efficient secretary, Olivia, with her. Marion involves the reluctant Dr Conroy in an intriguing game of relationships, and the crazy desk clerk Rooney, and the elderly cleaning lady, Mrs Hand, also get entangled in it.

cast of "Pizzazz" at the end of the show

The scenes were handled with aplomb, with Priya Venkatraman, as Marion, having the bulk of the dialogue to deliver, which she did, with hardly a glitch. Anshu Bora as Dr. Conroy, Chinmayee Dutta as Olivia, Deepanjan Dey as Rooney, and Serena Punch as Mrs Hand were all good at their respective roles, too.

Sharanya’s direction has distinctly improved since May, when I watched “The Original Last Wish Baby”. The play went pretty smoothly, and lighting (Harish Seshadri) and sound (Suraj Sundararaj) were both on the ball. The set design by Sridhar Prasad and Satyasish Bannerjee were quite good, and the costumes by Suma Rao were particularly noteworthy…they were not FabIndia costumes but genuinely “what would be worn in Ireland” clothes!

I met up with the group after the show and learnt that they are all alumni from Manipal, who, after coming to Bangalore to follow various professions, still want to keep together as a theatre group. Sharanya Ramprakash, the director, mentioned how different it is to be an amateur theatre group, fighting for space in Bangalore, from being a student theatre group! Finances are always an issue, she said, and thanked Gaurav Shrotriya for making the production possible.

Several of the original Dramanon have apparently left to pursue their education elsewhere (for example, Joylita, who is in the US now). But Dramanon was revived and now Sharanya and her band of thespians are determined to make a go of it.

I was happy to see that their brochure design was just as good as last time, and they had also, this time around, included a little slip of paper where members of the audience could leave their email ids and contact details. This will help a lot in getting feedback for future improvement.

They will shortly be bringing “Pizzazz” to Ranga Shankara as well, which they describe as a “unique theatre space”. So let’s wish this team of youngsters the best of luck and success!

2 Comments so far

  1. Raj (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    Thanks to your earlier post abut the play, I saw it too. And liked it!

  2. A (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

    I had a great time too! The cast was great

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