Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hitchcock- in black, white and red.

My normal weekend would be either working at office or refreshing my facebook page at home or at home, thinking about work and wondering why a particular module failed. Anything apart from this is not a 'normal' weekend.
So when Renie from Indiblogger called me to tell me i had tickets to watch a play at the Theatre Museum, Chennai, he did tell me that I did not 'have to' write a review for the same. But without resorting to my usual lame excuse of 'crazy mundane IT job' I decided to post this review- even though it comes a week too late (thanks to my crazy mundane IT job of course), because it was a weekend that was not 'normal' after a very long time. And thank God, Renie and Stray Factory for that.
At the outset, i must tell you that I'm not a regular theatre person. So, my review might not comply with standard reviewing regulations! Also, I do not know who played who in the play (not all of them, that is) so I will be referring to the character names here - apologies for that.
Anyway, the play is Hitchcock by the theatre group Stray Factory. It is a compilation of three short plays for 90 minutes based on the TV series 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and it has Hitchcock written all over it.- the acting, the sets, the colours, the lighting, the dialogues, the music and of course the plot. The behind-the-screen shadows and silhouettes was a fantastic idea (pardon me my ignorance, but is that a pretty common thing??). And keeping the theme black, white and red- brilliant!What did i like best? The music, the lighting, the Emcee and the third act.What did i like least? the second act, the predictable endings, the location of my seat and the mosquitoes outside.The opening, though a bit late, was charmingly done by the emcee. The bit that i liked in particular was his rather murderous manner of asking the audience to switch their mobiles off. His subtle humour was in true Hitchcock style and delivered with a straight face, it was perfect! -> Like! 
Play 1 was 'The Right Kind of House'. The first scene opened to what seemed like a humorous play - Sally and Mr. Hacker, though they sounded a bit too rehearsed were adorable. But as the play progressed to the second scene, the mood and nature took a complete turn and this transition was so smooth and gradual that i really did not notice the first 30 minutes fly by. I must say it was the second scene that I really liked- especially the part where Evelyn (Aishwarya Mahesh) narrates her story and the past and present is shown back to back - while the audience is given enough clues to differentiate between the time frames. I thought the conversation between Evelyn and Mr. White was successful in holding the audience's attention, and both of them were really good, although I'd tip the scales in favour of Mr. White :-)

Play 2 was 'Triggers in Leash'. Now, I wouldn't say I didn't like the play but I liked it the least. It maybe because it did not involve any murder or suspense :-) but mainly because the end was too predictable, plain and quite honestly, i thought it dragged a bit. The cowboy chauvinism was evident in the actors' posture and mannerisms, and Maggie- i would have imagined someone much older and a bit crude to play that part- definitely not someone so elegant! But I thought she did a great job- nice smug smile to the end :-)
Play 3 was 'The Motive'. Definitely the best of the lot. Predictable though it was, I thought the actors did a brilliant job. Mathivanan Raghavan and Vivek Hariharan - *applause applause*. The plot, the music, the acting, the dialogue delivery, the expressions- i thought it was perfect. Although i liked the drunk Mathivanan as opposed to the sober version :-) What i liked best was that this play looked the least rehearsed (in a good way!) and the actors seemed to be very much at ease with the characters that they played. Loved it! As they say, save the best for the last!
To sum up, I had a wonderful evening and enjoyed the play. Kudos, Stray Factory :-)