So Kochi seems to be coming together with lots of musical related options these days, there is something regular happening one way or another. But art wise something which seems to be lacking are a venue for plays, sure there have been a few plays happening in JT Pac in Tripunithara. But it is not something regular. Now Forplay Productions is playing host to an English play by Harold Pinter called “The Lover”. This is created by a theatre collective called Forplay Productions. Regarding Harold Pinter you can look up his Wikipedia entry. But I would suggest to not look up the play itself on the internet. The Wikipedia entry is rife with spoilers.
So regarding the play itself the format is as a one hour long one act play, with three actors Sanal Aman, Santhy Balachandran and Anand Iyer. The director of the play is Sanal Aman himself. Also a really nice touch is that they have live music executed by Jophy Chirayath, Bimal Thankachan and Tom Roy.Production design is by Seljuk R. Seljuk also contributed to the original music.
Regarding the story itself, it is about marriage. But just like every marriage the dynamics of this marriage is complex. The narrative deals with fidelity and jealousy and how people stay together for decades without getting tired of the sheer predictability of each other. Something I hope the people in Kochi is capable of understanding. Also I hope that smaller undercurrent of urban life sexual dissatisfaction won’t be something they will turn their noses up because it is so damn relatable to them. Because we Indians despite all our achievements are one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet.
Regarding the actors, Sanal Aman is a Delhi drama school veteran and a movie actor, so it is not a surprise that he can act well. But for me the biggest surprise was Santhy Balachandran, because for a debut actress her performance was exceptional. I am expecting more from her in the artistic sphere in the future.
The set and the space was utilized fully so that we felt immersed in the play unfolding in front of us.Good work done by the production designer. The lighting and the music added to the immersion factor. Now regarding complaints. If I have to nit-pick what I have to say is the very British dialogues did sound odd coming in an Indian accent. But then it would have sounded even unconvincing in a fake British accent. So I don’t know if there is a solution to this at all, unless the dialogues are readapted. But then this is their maiden venture and hopefully there will be course corrections in the future.
So regarding the venue itself, it is a smaller intimate space just like one of my favourite venue, The Muse Room. I like intimate spaces because the audience artist connection is better in places like that than the bigger spaces.
But what people don’t realise is that how important this is to Kochi. Kochi is playing host to a small microcosm of artistic ventures, if we hope to be an important part of the cultural landscape in India we need to make sure that these succeed. But don’t do it as an obligation. Come and watch this for the sheer entertainment value.
So if you are a theatre virgin and want to know what the fuss is all about, come to get your theatre cherry popped.
If you are a theatre veteran, come to see what is hopefully the first of many ventures by Forplay Productions.
So as of today (29th November 2016) you have two more days to catch this at Forplay Productions which is just above Audiostation 3:1. The show is from 7:30 to 8:30 in the evening. The tickets are 400Rs. Also please carry cash or book through the links below as they don’t take cards or PayTM. Arrange a time machine if reading after the 30th of November.
P.S- If you want more details on the cast and crew I am adding a link to an interview recently conducted with them by the Wtzup Kochi Team.