A few days ago, I was invited to review one of Evam’s new plays. This blogpost is perhaps the result of one of my bad decisions. The play I watched was the product of a workshop that Evam conducted for theatre enthusiasts. Before I get to the play itself, here is a quick recap of the effort behind it.
Rather cheekily named ‘first rush’, this play is the last mile of Evam’s theatre movement for amateurs/ enthusiasts. A few enthu-cutlets came together and took the workshop. I’ve been told that the workshop wasn’t an acting workshop but a theatre workshop. They got to learn and experience more than just acting.
Deeban says, “I was handling the production manager’s responsibilities and got lot of mentoring, tips and tricks of trade from Pavithra from booking the auditorium to budgeting, coordinating ticketing, promotions etc.”
So, the people who did the workshop are definitely not complaining. At the end of these sessions, they decided to come together and present Ed Monk’s The Cut for an audience. The original script of The Cut is available here, if you like.
To begin with, the play had layers. There is a lot of confusion and stories inside stories playing out. At the end of the first act, when you see that the play is going to have layers, you sit up and begin to concentrate. And then, hell breaks loose. Many characters get introduced one after another and they hardly register in our minds.
The worst part of the ‘drama’ is that they tend to make this one an accent comedy as well. I’ve written before how Evam isn’t the best in doing them. There are so many accents that none of them are particularly distinguishable. There was this lady speaking in an accent that could be influenced by Telugu or Tamil, but is nothing more than annoying. The play begins with a British accent and then sails through many accents that don’t seem to add much value to the play.
There is also a part of the play that is completely in Hindi, written by the actors themselves. The south Indian that I am, this part was totally lost on me. At the end of the play, it seemed too long and painful.
Not everything was so bad. Rather interestingly, most actors in the play were slightly overweight or were lisping. It goes very well with Evam’s intentions of bringing theatre to the masses. For first time actors, they all did a great job, no doubt. As a play, it did not serve the audiences as much as they’d have liked!