My association with the mainstream theatre scene in Chennai is very, very limited (The last proper play I saw was something to do with Chankayashastra and business principles, a 11th standard kaamars shtudends school trip, and my knowledge of theatre personalities is worse, I’m acquainted only with sound guys and the lot).
Not something I’m particularly proud of, but it’s not something I worry about either.
So when Prashant called me for ASAP’s production of “Sketch It” at the Alliance Francaise, I was quite indifferent to the whole deal, all I knew was that I had weekend plans, which was enough to make me happy.
I did do a bit of research before I went though, The Play, apparently was a
“breakthrough effort” “a new transformation in the field” since “Its not a complete play as such. It has mimes, skits, and stand ups. All these are elements of theatre but its more like a collage”.
The play started on quite a promising note and started deteriorating with every act.
There were number of different ideas (The sketches varied from “Welcome to Hell” to “First Date” to “Mallu in Bookshop”) that the play had tried to cover but didn’t quite make the grade.
There’s plenty of swearing/finger-popping/innuendo in the show, which can get overbearing after a while – there is a limit to the number of dick jokes we can take. Then there was the whole concept of originality. Sure, the concept of “collage-ing” was all fine and dandy, but flicking Bhagyaraj film jokes (the very very famous “ek gaon mein ek kisaan raghuthatha” scene) is just not it.
Also, some of the acts just weren’t funny – the Indian restaurant in London “gag” didn’t make the mark and the Awards ceremony sketch (where every other theatre group was mercilessly targetted) wasn’t all ho-ho-ho either. The scene with the Wedding Speeches was notably moronic (Fellatio obsessed priest, sexually hyper-active best man, the works).
However, there were genuinely funny moments in the play as well, the Elizabethan parody really hit the spot and so did the “First Date” episode, but the most impressive was the “Invisible Man” concept.
Overall, it was a good effort for two guys on stage facing a half-empty auditorium, nevertheless, something missing somewhere.
Watch it if you have absolutely nothing to do or have an intense liking for innuendo fueled humour.
It’s currently playing at The Alliance Francaise – there are 4.00pm & 7.30pm shows, tickets available at Landmark.
Now playing: Johnny Gaddar – Move your body