Saturday, October 5, 2013

Play Review: Nothing Like Lear. Review by Rahul Sharma

This is our first guest review by Rahul Sharma - A theatre lover from Delhi with a cocky sense of humor. 

Play: Nothing Like Lear
Written and Directed By: Rajat Kapoor
Based on: Shakespeare's King Lear

Comedy, Tragedy, Tragedy in a Comedy, Comedy in a Tragedy ... At the end of the day, content needs to tell a good story. For me at least, this holds true. Playing with stars is only fruitful when there is a good story to back them up ... and, I mean, that's how stars are created.

I had seen "Noises Off" and "Hamlet - The Clown Prince" by then, and was extremely excited to be able to watch quality English theater in Delhi. And, next on the line was "Nothing Like Lear". I said to myself, "Dude, this weekend is awesome. First, Hamlet vala play, and now Vinay pathak in a monologue ... Machauuu". I had seen a few monologues before, including Saleem Sheikh and Lushin Dubey, and was hoping for this one to be of same level.

However, this play turned out to be such a disaster that I wanted my Tyler Durden to beat the shit out of my Edward Norton. I mean by not coming for this play, I could have bought a better section at upcoming Ghulam Ali's performance in Oct.

It was all the same. Something that you always witness on a weekend at Kamani. Flashy cars, absolutely no parking space, "O my gaawd, you are here too (hugs and giggles)" crowd, and yes, on an evening like this, few celebs too.

I entered in the auditorium. Play started, my excitement took a bungee jump ... and never bounced back.
To start with, this play has an exceptionally weak script. From the inception of the play, it was filled with jokes those were a hit the time when JFK was doing Marilyn Monroe. Had I been in his place and telling those jokes, people would have arranged a meeting of my testicles with my tonsils. But on those F-grade jokes, people laughed as if Nitrous Oxide was in the air. I flexed my zebra neck to take a look around, and realized that for meters and kilometers, only 4 people were still as Katrina Kaif's and my friend + 2 guys on our left (who honored the scriptwriter with an invisible middle finger and left after first 15 minutes).

Smartphones were probably invented for times like these. As time crawled (literally), smartphones took over the laughing herd. Soon, people were talking on phone, watspp-ing their friends, moving out and buying food ... some would have taken a sutta break too, I am sure.

Nevertheless, we laughed twice during the play, and that too when Vinay Pathak did something impromptu. That said, I do not doubt the actor's skills, I mean, the way he changes a character was smooth and flawless. And his delivery of 
Shakespearean dialogues was hard hitting.

Play ended. I came out of the auditorium and the noise, the praise that I heard in previous two plays was nowhere to be heard.
And, there will always be people who would not call a bad play a bad play. Probably they have a fear of being an outcast. I mean, how can a play with Bollywood stars can be so mediocre..."ya must be outta ya mind kid". 
I came out, and bumped in to a fellow from theater in the washroom. The first sentence that came out of his mouth was, "play accha tha na?". I said, "No...horrible script ". These words from my mouth and gates of we-belong-to-quality-theater-world were closed for me. 
The guy, with a smirk on his face, took my expression that said "Vinay Pathak's monologue, Rajat kapoor's direction and he says he dint like it...Loser". And I took a leak, thinking of a girl in the auditorium who developed an incredible firang accent when talking to a firang, and talking normal when turned towards her desi friends ... "she must be a mutant".

Kahani ka Lolipop: This is not a play that I would recommend to my friends who have a sense of good theater, solely because of an extremely wannabe script which wasted an exceptional actor.

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