Monday, August 29, 2005

My First Play: "A Heap of Broken Images"

No, I haven't started acting (though it is one of my top 10 wishes). It is just that I saw a professional play for the first time. Invitation to watch a play was exciting and dangerous for me. Dangerous because 100 bucks were at stake, and exciting because I have never seen one. ATM card in my wallet prompted me to take the risk. And, it paid off greatly!

Play: "A Heap of Broken Images" (English)
Director: Girish Karnad
Cast: Arundhati Raja

It was the first play in Kannada, with strong technical input. Use of technology in the form of live recording, and use of Television synchronization added a unique dimension to the play.

Scene 1: A Kannada writer, Manali Raja, is being interviewed on Television on the recent success of her maiden English novel. She makes a emotionally charged speech, and devotes her novel to her husband and disabled sister (on whom the novel is based).

Scene 2: Manali is challenged by her inner self (showed on a TV screen on the stage). Manali admits of having a distressed relationship with her husband (who is now settled in US), and her hatred for her late sister. She can't run away from her inner self, nor she can hurt her ego by accepting her defeat at the hands of her sister, who was more beautiful, talented and smart of the two. Manali suspected of an affair between her husband and her sister. But, there was nothing she could do, except watch silently and accept her defeat.
Her sister's death gave her an opportunity for revenge., and she got an intrinsic feeling of victory. But, it was shortlived. Her inner sense of guilt and defeat broke the shell of victory she tried hard to build.

Performance was par excellence. But, as stated earlier too, great use of technology was the unique point of the play. Live and recorded parts of the play were absolutely well synchronized. So much so that we noticed only 1 glitch in a 45 minute play. Amazing!
Good thing about metro cities, like Bangalore, is vibrancy of culture and the kind of varied experience you can have. And you get the infrastructure support too. The theatre was as good as any movie theatre in India, and more importantly, it was full.

Waiting for much more during my stay here....


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Anonymous said...

i've seen this play and frankly i thought it was crap. i told everyone this but stupid indians still pretended to like it. if you want to see a good play go to broadway..

Anonymous said...

i thought the play was really brilliant... had a million issues subtely conveyed. broadway might be good, but that's no reason to disregard other excellent plays.