Saturday, September 01, 2007

Play Review - Run for your Wife

I think that was the name of the play we went for in Chinmaya Hall. I did not know anything about it... Infact I first thought that it was a play written by the performers themselves... (20 - 25 year old professionals). That was not to be... it was a long drawn out... laborious presentation of a 1985ish British play which in-fact had got pretty terrible reviews even in late 1980s America.

It would not suffice to just say.. oh ok.. have you watched 'Madhu +2?'.. well this is a 'British' version of the same.... even though the idea is similar. This version is a far less enjoyable, loud and ribald presentation of one guy having two wives and the trials and tribulations of such a situation. This is not the regular stiff upper lip British humour.... this play is from the guy who wrote other masterpieces like 'No Sex Please we are British..' The jokes are pretty crass even in 2006. Imagine how crass it must have been in 1985.

You know.. there are some 'pieces of art' that never loses its originality and watchability even after it has been rehashed a couple of million times. I do not mean comedies like MMKR which was my generation's first funny movie. I refer to comedies like Sabash Meena and Baama Vijayam which still are excellent comedies... even 40 years after it was made.

This play, has been rehashed in every other medium possible, and the jokes have been heard in different forms that it kind of loses its originality in its original form. The jokes, puns and innuendos just fall flat most of the time, partly because of repetition and partly because of that 'look at me... I am a media whore' kind of loud presentation by the cast. Besides all this, the biggest problem in the play was its length. At a little more than 2 hours, with 7 characters repeating their jokes, sitting through the play was tedious. If I had planned the play, I might have removed about 30 percent of the dialogues in each scene, and alltogether removed one homosexual character. Infact I would have removed all jokes relating to homosexuality...

Everything apart, I have to say that I quite enjoyed the first 30 minutes or so of the play. Especially the first scene where the two wives make separate calls to the police station. Very well choreographed. Stage management was also impressive... The stage being split into two... to present the two houses. I also have to say, it is pretty difficult to memorize so much insipid dialogues and so many forced puns.

The play is on tomorrow as well. Tickets start at 100 Rs. If you read this before that please do not bother too much. The 100 could be spent on better things... like the latest Kushwant Sing joke book.