Sunday, April 26, 2015

Play Review: The Guest List

“It’s better to have loved and lost than to live with a Psycho for the rest of your life”
These are the words I saw written on a porcelain plate somewhere once and the words stuck to me.  Nothing describes divorces and this play more aptly. Four guests, trapped in a restaurant with no waiter, and the host missing sounds like a mystery plot. It starts like one with a an uptight, rich antiques dealer Bengali guy named Roy playing Sherlock Holmes about why he was there and where the host is along with a loud, dumb as a rock Punjabi Nikunj. However, it soon turns into a clash of the ex’s as “No.3” arrives. Roy’s thought of “What can be worse than this?” is answered in form of his equally uptight and successful but confused Punjabi ex-wife Ashima Khurana entering the scene. Things get even more interesting with the arrival of “Guest No.4” who is none other than Nikunj’s archeologist ex-wife Gauri.  But shit really hits the fan when the fifth guest arrives.

Photo Credit: Blue Phoenix Productions FB Page

Co-Produced by Blue Phoenix Productions and Leap Of Faith Productions in association with EOS21, “The Guest List” is a story of an encounter gone hay wire where two ex-couples are embroiled in a surprising tale of events filled with dramatic twists and turns. This has to be one of the most original, well written and well directed play I have seen in a while. It is a refreshing change to see a play which is original and not ‘adopted’.  Co-Produced by Mohak Pajni and Adhiraj Sharma, the play is a typical “Indian Masala Comedy” which strong characterisation and a hilarious script. Adhiraj also plays the role of Roy and with equal aplomb as his direction. Shruti Kattar plays Ashima Khurana, the successful modern writer whose Punjabi roots sprout in tough situations. Kaavya Bector, in the role of Gauri Bharti Murli plays the control freak who likes to flaunt her “PhD” but was strangely married to Nikunj, played by Gaurav Amlani.  While every actor played their part perfectly, Gaurav just steals the show as a typical Punjabi with perfect comic timing, eloquent dialogue delivery and body language. The script uses just the right amount of Punjabiness and words to keep the audiences in splits throughout the play. Each character’s “statehood” is butt many jokes but by maintaining a fine balance the jokes do not enter the offensive and “have heard it before” category. Mohak Pajni enters the scene just before Act 2 and leads the second Act. I would rather not say who she plays except that she is the fifth guest. Her demeanor and actions scare everyone but she is doing it for a reason.

Photo Credit: Blue Phoenix Productions FB Page

This is a must watch play. The biggest strength of the play is the perfect  comic timing with a great script and direction which will make you laugh your ass off.  You can watch it on 23rd May at LTG Auditorium, New Delhi.

About the Play: 

Written and Directed by: Adhiraj Sharma

Gaurav Amlani: Nikunj
Shruti Khattar: Ashima Khurana
Kaavya Bector:
Gauri Bharti Murli
Mohak Pajni: Guest No. 5 (Watch to play to see what her role is)
Adhiraj Sharma:  Roy Chatterjee 

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