Twisted tales

Twisted tales

American playwright Neil Simon would have been a happy man to see justice done to his play, ‘The Good Doctor’, which takes the audience inside the mind of Russian writer Anton Chekhov, who is known as the good literary doctor.

   The series of eleven eccentric short stories directed by N Rishi were recently enacted at Alliance Francaise by a group of talented young actors of Barking Dog Productions.
With the perfect blend of wry and dark humour, the play taught lessons on life, death, seduction and even drowning, as strange as that may sound.

Various aspects of a writer’s world were shown beautifully – the curiosity and urge to find new ideas, the writers’ blocks, arguments with one’s own imagination and so on.

The audience was taken on an absurd adventure into the pages of Chekhov’s stories – encountering a cunning, neurotic woman who caused a man to suffer from a nervous disorder to learning the tricks of the trade from a man called Peter, who was the greatest seducer of other men’s wives.

Chandramoulee, an audience member, sitting in the front row seemed to be having a good time.

“I don’t usually go to plays but I’m glad I came for this one. It’s a wonderful play and it was very interesting how the narrator moved from one story to the other so effortlessly,” he points out.

There was another hilarious story about a priest being forced to have his aching tooth extracted by the replacement of the village dentist, which had everyone roaring with laughter.

The plot of this comical story revolved purely around a sexton’s unwillingness to open his mouth and the ‘dentist’ using lines like ‘I don’t want to brush your teeth, I want to examine them!”. Another interesting one was a duet between two strangers who wonder if it is too late for happiness, for flings, to ask for love. 

“It was excellent! All the characters came out very well. It was a nice collection of stories. What appealed to me most was how each one dealt with a unique subject and how starkly different the presentation of each one was,” notes Poonam, an audience member.  
Deepak Hariharan, one of the actors, proved himself worthy of praise for the ease with which he played different roles.

Shraddha Srinath was a charming actress as both a disloyal wife and a prostitute, both of which she played to perfection.

   But the most stellar performance was given by Prateek Prajosh, who did a wonderful job of portraying the twisted genius of Chekhov himself.

 “Whoever came for the show was very kind. It feels good to perform to a group of people who can take out time on a Saturday afternoon to support theatre. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves based on their reactions during and after the play,” concludes Prateek.

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