Posts Tagged Surender Singh
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Hindi - Bollywood Movie Reviews-- Play Reviews-- NAATAK-- Poems-- Event Reports, Play Reviews on November 19, 2014
NAATAK company has exceeded all expectations in its production of “Andhera Hone Tak”, hindi version of Frederick Knott’s classic thriller, “Wait Until Dark”. The play is performed with English subtitles projected above the stage, and that makes it a must-see play, for a wider range of audience.
Stage versions of thrillers are rare because suspense and elements of a thriller, including murder, robbery etc. are hard to create on stage. Producer Surender Singh has made a bold attempt in bringing this production and the suspense filled thriller does not disappoint on any count. Clearly, Mukund Marathe has once again proved that he is simply one of the most brilliant directors.
Suneeta Saxena (Sareeka Malhotra) is a housewife, who is also blind, and is married to Sameer Saxena (Puneet) and they live in Shivaji Park, Mumbai. Sameer becomes an innocent transporter of a doll stuffed with contraband, when he brought it home, at the request of a woman, who is now surfaced as dead. Soon thereafter, Sameer is traveling again for business and Suneeta becomes target of three con-men, looking for heroin hidden in a doll. The doll is nowhere to be found because unbeknownst to anyone, a little girl, Aneesha, living in the apartment upstairs, has stolen the doll. The trio play initially manage to get Suneeta worried that her husband will be suspected of murdering the woman and the only way to protect him would be to enable them to have the possession of the doll.
Sareeka Malhotra’s performance as a blind heroine, is brilliant, both vulnerable and at the same time courageous and determined. The three con men, played by Varun Dua, Sanjay Apte, and Amit Sharma are so good at being bad that their performance holds you at the edge of your seats. Aneesha Nema, the little child star gives a phenomenal performance as a bratty but precocious kid. The set design is superb, easy for a supposedly blind person to navigate and yet complex for her to figure out the movements of the intruders. Juhi Mohan has done a great job with lights, helping create the perfect “dark”, that would give Suneeta an edge against the intruders.
Every theater season, I give my recommendation of a “must-watch play of the season” from among South Bay Theater companies, including (NAATAK – www,naatak.org, CityLights – http://www.cltc.org, San Jose Stage – http://www.thestage.org, Theatreworks – http://www.theatreworks.org, EnActe Arts – http://www.enacte.org etc.) and this season, unequivocally, I recommend NAATAK’s “Andhera Hone Tak”, as the “must-watch play of the season”. While the play is performed in Hindi, the English sub-titles, projected above the stage, make it easy for all to enjoy. So remember, you don’t need to understand Hindi to enjoy the suspense, heart stopping tension, spooky lighting, and climactic end, all delivered by flawless performance, in real time.
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Hindi - Bollywood Movie Reviews-- Play Reviews-- NAATAK-- Poems-- Event Reports, Play Reviews on June 19, 2013
“Let me take you back to the year, 1942”, thus begins the play, taking the audience back to August 8, 1942, the day when Gandhi launched the “Quit India” movement, against the British. Based on real events, the story of Keezhariyur Bomb Case in Malabar, Kerala is adapted for stage by brilliant playwright and director, Sujit Saraf and produced by Gopi Rangan.
India, in 1942, was a diverse nation, divided by languages, dialects, caste, class, religion, and loyalties, and divided by the lack of infrastructure, in the analog age. India’s struggle to rid itself of the colonialism has to be as complex and multifaceted, as its people. It is even a marvel that Gandhiji managed to unite the nation and helped achieve India’s independence, spearheading the struggle under the banner of non-violence. But there were various rebel groups and leaders, with their own brand of nationalism, their own value system, their own worldview, and their own interest in future independence of India, that resulted in multitude of little struggles. Some of these ended in small scale violence, only to ignite a sizeable imperialistic response, some puttered and fizzled out, some joined forces with others, and eventually most gave their support to Gadhi’s non-violent struggle for independence.
The characters of this play, tell the story of one group of Indian rebels, in the 1940s, in the backward state of Bihar (at the time), and the superb cast makes them truly memorable. Led by a Colorado trained professor, brilliantly played by Salil Singh, a small group of rebels discuss the plan to shake up the Brits, with some strategic bomb blasts. Sujit Saraf, in the role of a renegade Congressman, is equally superb, as he straddles the issue between allegiance to Gandhi’s perspectives and participation in the Professor’s activist stance. Mukund Marathe and Amol Deshmane, in the role of two brothers at odds with each other, coming together to finance the rebel project, are also fantastic. Their participation in the project, heals their earlier wounds and they are both in agreement that that their businesses not suffer any harm on account of their participation in this project. Surender Singh, also fantastic, in the role of the restaurantor, provides the space for the project. Soumya Chakravorty, plays the role of Banwari, recruited to build and detonate the bombs. Banwari refuses to work alongside Muslims, he is in equal measure prejudiced, fanatic, stupid, and a victim of his circumstances, who looses his land to land owners but feels compelled to do something, against injustice. Chakravorty is absolutely brilliant in this role.
This group of individuals could not be more different, in terms of their interests and affiliations, their cynicism, idealism, and ambition, and are coming together and uniting in one cause, independence of the nation. Will this group, so flimsily connected, stay true to the cause and hold together or will it fall apart by betrayal, stupidity, or other self-interests? Irrespective of whether they will succeed or fail, this is a fantastic play about human endeavors to be free, at the very basic level. It is a play that brings out the complexity inherent in the task of nation building. Saraf moved the story to Bihar (from the real life incident, that took place in Kerala), so that it can be produced in Hindi. Eventual language is a beautiful mix of Hindi, Bhojpuri, and Marwari. Excellent set design is by Siva Kollipara. Vineeta Singh and crew have done great job in set building. Sowmya Ballakur has provided supertitles, so the play can be enjoyed by non-Hindi speaking audience members as well. And once again, I will say the entire cast is brilliant and the acting is flawless.
Vande Mataram is playing to sold out audiences. Book your tickets early. For registration, go to www.naatak.com .