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'This' is what we'd call entertainment

DNBAN55403 | 4/12/2012 | Author : L Romal M Singh | WC :544

After ages, a light– hearted play comes to town and we're already in love with it. 'This' might just be the best yet out of Dramanon.

As urban Bangaloreans we're always cribbing about the lack of theatre that represents our everyday lives… well, here's a play that does just that and goes on to leave you pleasantly entertained and thoroughly satisfied.
This by Melissa James Gibson is a superbly crafted tragic, witty, sharp and self deprecating play that takes a wholly truthful look at four urban lives that are past their youthful sheen, now negotiating the 'Rest of Their Lives'.
The play unfolds in the living room of Marrell (Serena Punch) and Tom (Swetanshu Bora) — the exhausted parents of a baby who sleeps in 15 minute increments, who are treading some seriously shaky marital ground. The play gives you a window into the lives of this couple, interspersed with the lives of their two best friends and a 'strange' Frenchman.
Jane (Kavitha Babu), the first of these friends is a single mother trying to reignite her life after she suddenly loses her husband. Alan (Nakul Bhalla), the 'gay' one, is the second friend, who hates being second all the time, cursed with perfect memory, looking for a place to start his life anew from. JP is Jean Pierre (Siddhartha Rao), the alluring Frenchman, who enters the lives of this gang, tossing them into a chaos that might just sort out most of their lives.
This is about all of us, and that's what makes the play work. While the play was written to portray the lives of a complicated set of 30 somethings, the problems and issues dealt with are now universally shared by everyone who calls themselves an adult in an urban environment.
The play is light-hearted with a crazy sense of humour; don't be surprised if you fall in love with the characters. Serena Punch as Marell with her frank and often brazen way of looking at things and situations or the eternally confused and tormented Kavitha Babu as Jane, will win you over in minutes — the characterisation and choosing of the cast deserve special mention.
Nakul Bhalla as Alan steals the show however and we're mighty pleased at the sane portrayal of a gay man, finally! Alan is the gay man we all know, the guy who's your best friend — annoying and adorable in the very same breath.
The performances are amazing and the show we watched at the Alliance Française a few weeks ago was one of the best we've seen from Dramanon so far. Kudos to Sharanya Ramprakash, who's proved to be as good a director as she is an actor!
What makes This really work as a wholesome entertainer is however the live performances and the jazz band (Madhuri Isaacs Chauhan and Pradeep Gopal), that add so much more to an otherwise simple yet entertaining narrative. Don't be surprised if you're left spellbound by the renditions of popular tunes courtesy Serena and Nakul. The play is taken to whole new level thanks to these musical interludes.
So there you have it, a play that we highly recommend. A light and wonderful comedy with bits of seriousness avec an adorable Frenchman who's quite the charmer — This is something you do not want to miss!

Catch the play at Ranga Shankara, 36/2, Next to Post Office, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, this evening and tomorrow, 7.30pm onwards, call 9900088432

romal.singh@dnaindia.net



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