The Enigma

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Waiting For Lefty


Theatre is always fabulous! It is awesome to see someone immersed in a character right in front of you. In Hyderabad, there isnt a lot of appreciation for theatre, and thus we are served mainly Telugu Dramas and occasional English ones which are either for the Page 3s or are not properly propagated.

Delhi is a land of arts. Drama, Theatre are ubiquitous and vibrant, but it becomes difficult to filter out the right content off the wrong ones. The search begins and ends at NSD when you look for quality theatre, especially when you are a newbie to the city.

Hence, given my past experiences in other cities I have lived in, I carried no expectations when I landed in Bangalore. As destiny would have it, passes to this production 'Waiting For Lefty' landed in my hands, thanks to friends associated with it. It was a very refreshing change from the dreary Bangalore routine. It was like I was looking at Bangalore from an entirely different side. Waiting For Lefty is a production of the group Version One Dot Oh (VODO)

Waiting For Lefty was staged at Ranga Shankara on the 5th of July at 7:30pm, and another show would be held on the 6th of July at the same time again. I may not be able to translate any of my readers into an audience for today's show, but if you are in Bangalore, and like such things, do make it a point to go there and catch the show next time. It is simply amazing!


'Waiting For Lefty' revolves around the New York Cab Union Strike, and the crew consists of 20 members or so. Am not too sure of the numbers, thats all I could see and remember, so pardon me for any misrepresentations. As I learnt from a few of the people I know there, I inferred most or all of them are working professionals or students interested in art and have taken up stage productions and if 'Waiting For Lefty' is any indication, they are doing it good.

Coming to this production, there is a boiling sense of indignation sotto voce right from Scene 1. As Mr. Red delivers his words, the red blood in your veins starts boiling. Every artist enacts the scene in a fine detail. Since most of the show is in an auditorium setting, each of them has a very wide eye span, and hence are completely at ease with their eyes and body movements. The finesse comes to fore when the scenes are in a room, and only characters should converse. Though there had been stray incidents of an artist or two looking at the crowd a couple of times, the expressions, the lighting and the voice modulation make up for it. Excellence in theatre comes to fore when the artists can command attention from the crowd, and can live up to it with stoic sense of the scene when the audience exhibits a diametrically opposite emotion. This was witnesssed in the show, and that is where I decided I shall follow the group, and end up at their productions each time I can.

In a theatre, the audience shouldnt be alienated. A viewer should feel like one among the characters to feel the richness of the scene. The director Krishna seems to have taken note of this. Strategic placing of the cast in the crowd makes you feel like shouting out everytime the cast shouts out from the crowd. For a moment in the show, you feel like a cabbie being exploited and want to shout out at the big guy exploiting the poor.

The appreciation wouldnt be complete without a mention to the simple production support, accurate stage setting and apt lighting and sound. The transition between the scenes is the time for you to think, and it acts well in 'Waiting For Lefty'. The scenes are so hard-hitting and artists so fine that when the truth about Lefty is broken, you dont feel indignant or you dont feel dissatisfied, but all you feel for is the children of a cabbie who could die to rickets, the marriage of another which has been long pending, the ethics of the guy who turns down good money for his morals. Finally, when the curtains are drawn, you feel like standing up for yourself, like a true man should do.

Right after the show, each artist was introduced and the response of the audience told me I wasnt alone in falling in love with the show, but everyone there did. An almost full Ranga Shankara came down in appreciation to the crew. Though the number of people that came down walking to the stage, withstood the warnings of not stepping on the stage and congratulated the crew were few, there was a sense of complete appreciation and satisfaction in each of those faces, and that is where theatre scores... Making the audience feel satisfied, and touched! The purpose of theatre is served...

Am Waiting For their next now!
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PS: Anybody with any idea of such theater groups in Delhi, leave a comment please!

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1 Comments:

At July 07, 2007 12:04 AM, Blogger enginerd said...

arrgh! Where's time when you need it?
I myself hadn't expected much of Bangalore in this regard until I got to know of places like Ranga Shankara and other organizations screening a lot of meaningful cinema.
The whole bunch of us once spent one whole weekend watching documentaries on Human Rights and all at Alliance Francais. I guess it was by an organization called "breakthrough".

 

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