The play Kashmakash is a gibe at political hypocrisy and opportunism. The protagonist of the play is an honest poor book-binder who is living a hard life with his daughter and wife. In the moment of need, he approaches local politician for help. The politician suggests him to fabricate the story of being a freedom fighter and earn a pension. The poor soul, the hero of our story, agrees to it. The plot gradually unfolds to show the audience merriment, pangs of exploitation and inner-conflicts aka Kashmakash of the family.
The performances of all characters are laudable. The central character is played effortlessly by the common man of the 80s – Aanjan of Wagle Ki Duniya fame. But that is the least expected from seasoned cast of IPTA under the direction of Ramesh Talwar. What this play excels at is the story line. The situations and scenes are written extremely well and are matched perfectly with realistic presentation and paraphernalia. The feelings that the play evokes in the audience are almost palpable. The audience feels sad when for family’s poverty, but also shares the joy and pride of public felicitations.
A motley of all emotions, this one is for everyone! Also, if you have time, ‘Wagle Ki Duniya‘, a famous TV series from late 80s by R K Laxman. The episodes are available on YouTube.
AglaPlay Verdict: A very very good play
AglaPlay Rating: 4/5
Duration: 2 Hours (Approx.)
Writer: Debasis Majumdar, translation by Santwana Nigam
Director: Ramesh Talwar
Cast: Aanjjan Srivastav,
Sulabha Arya, Avtar Gill,
Neeraj Pandey/ Vignesh Sinkar,
Manju Sharma, Ranjana Srivastava,
Omprakash, Prashant padale,
Below are a few relevant links, including the YouTube link to Wagle Ki Duniya TV Series.
Much more than a venue, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is a premier cultural institution of the country. It produces and partners in various performances which it hosts. With five auditoriums, an art gallery, a restaurant and landmark location of Nariman point, its elegance is second to none among Mumbai theatre venues.
Website: Official Website Location: GoogleMaps Parking Location: Parking is available free of cost to the guests. However, with five auditoriums, it gets full if your show is not the 3 PM one. The paid parking by Municipal corporation is available at 70 per hour, but for NCPA shows, they generally charge a pre-paid fixed amount of 100 or 120 irrespective of hours. How to get there: NCPA location on Google Maps work fine. The place is reachable by Kaali-peeli, Uber, Ola.
Things to Note: – Have some time to spare after the show: It is always a relaxing experience to have a stroll around the promenade. The place is full of life and nice crowd even at late nights. – If the best seats have gotten full: For Godrej Dance, Experimental and Little, fret not. These are very nicely done, small sized auditorium and there won’t be any issues. In fact, seats J13-14 (Godrej) and seats N 10-1, R 9-1 (Experimental) provide amazing view!
Things to Note: – Reach early: There are no designated seat numbers in Prithvi. It is first come basis. The queue generally start forming at least half and hour before the show starts. Having said that, the auditorium is small 200-seater and even the last left of the seats will also provide you very good view. Most importantly, be courteous and humble. I have often seen renowned faces watching the performances at Prithvi, sitting on the stairs.
– Reach early: Not a typo. The late entrants are not allowed. They are strict about it. Please be early!
The play is about Lal, a writer stuck in writer’s block. He is unable to finish his story because of unanswered questions from his childhood. Lal observes everything around him, from an eagle flying in the sky to a person in nearby apartment, but his thoughts get stuck to the yellow scooter. As the scenes show through Lal’s past and present and his relation with his father, the play gradually unfolds dark events which haunt Lal’s present.
The play is a masterpiece from the playwright/director Manav Kaul. The first half intrigues the audience with many open questions. In the second half, the audience gets absorbed in Lal as scenes come together beautifully, gradually lifting the drapes from the protagonist’s past.
The play is a rick theatrical experience, and a must watch for the connoisseurs. I would however, not recommend the play if you are looking forward to a simple play for a relaxed family evening. The play, particularly the first half, is convoluted and can be enjoyed only when one is engrossed and focused.
AglaPlay Verdict: A good play
AglaPlay Rating: 3/5
(English version A man with yellow scooter)
Writer: Manav Kaul
Director: Manav Kaul
Cast: Kumud Mishra,
Manav Kaul & Others
Below are a few relevant links, including the play script.
Director by famed Ramesh Talwar in 70s, this is the longest running play of IPTA group. The title loosely translates to ‘Human Pawns’ in the context of the play. These human pawns, like their fellow Chess pawns; are expendables, and are stuck between the fight of two contrasting ideologies (kings). The central characters here are Kakaji and Acharya Ram Bhajan. The story unfolds between the contrasting ideologies of these two, identifying pawns of the system. This satirical play provokes the free decision-making ability of the characters itself.
The play is a treasure. A must-watch, it balances the bitter satire with precise comic timings and light notes. The seasoned cast of IPTA delivers yet another outstanding performance. The set and lightnings compliment the topnotch performances to create this classic. It is also a good opportunity for the audience to watch so many famed artists performing together on the stage!
AglaPlay Verdict: Must watch
AglaPlay Rating: 5/5
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes (Approx)
Writer: P L Deshpande
Director: Ramesh Talwar
Cast: Aanjjan Srivastav,
Avtar Gill, Ramesh Talwar,
Rashmi Sharma, Bansi Thapar,
Below are a few relevant links. The web link to the play performance by IIT Kanpur students is also provided for those who cannot see live performance.