Intense portrayal of a sensitive issue

Satirical Look

It is not everyday that events that address social concerns are held. ‘Lights Out’, a play that was staged at Alliance Francaise recently, was based on the safety of women in the country.

The audience, comprising many theatre lovers, treated themselves to an evening of drama and suspense. Says Saudamini, a bank professional, “I had read a lot about the play. So when I heard that it was going to be staged here, I wanted to come and watch it.” 

The play bordered on social issues that, ironically, the society only talks about but hardly does anything about. Written by Manjula Padhmanaban, ‘Lights Out’ is a comedy but as the story unfolds, the audience witness a tragedy that is omnipresent. Directed by Siddhanth K S, the cast of the play included Sam Kevin Roy, Surabhi Herur, Kanika Batra, Hardki Shah, Manu Tripathi and Vidya.

The opening scene of the play is set in Mumbai circa 1984, where crime rates were at an all time high. The play revolves around what could be the most shocking incident, yet a very common happening in the country, a rape.

This is the crux of the story, unravelled in shocking detail and the inconsiderate approach of individuals from the upper middle class. The story takes you through the minds of a few upper middle class individuals, who witness this incident right in their neighbourhood every single day.

What the play drives home is the fact that a man never lets a woman decide what course of action she should take and never lets her take control of the situation. The 90-minute play saw everyone in the audience engrossed in the act as the story unfolded. The play is an effort to bring in a sense of awakening among the citizens about the most horrible social evil in our society — crime against women.

Says Nihala Mohammed, “This play highlights this subject and raises a question mark in front of us, to make us rethink about the social security of the women. The world is not a safe place to be in. But though we cannot do anything about it, we still can help in creating awareness among both men and women.”

What struck a chord with the people was the way the play was depicted on stage. Says Krystle Pereira, “It is a very sensitive issue and the way the play conveyed the message, be it through the direction or the dialogue delivery, was simply brilliant. Though the play deals with a serious issue, giving a satirical touch to it drives home the point even better.”

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