Ten wonderful minutes of emotions

Ten wonderful minutes of emotions

Short and sweet

Ten wonderful minutes of emotions

A red heart-shaped balloon bursts and the Kamani Auditorium reverberates with the laugh of a kid. It wasn’t a magic show but the recent Grand Finale of Short and Sweet Theatre Festival. The play Chairpersons was being staged as one of the 10 masterpieces shortlisted from 42 entries at four venues during three weeks.

As the curtain furled to celebrate this Grand Finale of world’s largest ten-minute theatre festival, the play A different Client by Vivek Mansukhani explored the visit of a young male escort to a wealthy gentleman but turned out to be a dull piece. The subsequent play Lyra by Aishwarya Jha Mathur tried to explore the emotions of suspicion and heartache but the overt lisping of characters confused the audiences.

What lifted the spirits of the houseful audiences was the play Unit Test by Tarun Singhal. Its story took the viewers on a ride of gamut of emotions attached with school exams in a hilarious manner, especially by the teacher, enacted by Shirin Sewani, who won an award for it.

“I was a famous backbencher in school and thoroughly enjoyed playing the role of teacher,” says the product of Kirori Mal College,  who feels that the memories of her school teachers helped in the performance.

“I used specific traits of few teachers who are khadoos and just need a reason to deduct marks,” This comedy flavour fluctuated into a serious note with Ishwar Shunya’s The Sum of Your Experiences.

With a gripping script, the play compelled the audiences to hold on to their chairs till the suspense was revealed and is delivered tactfully by the actors Damandeep Sidhu and Varoon P Anand. The latter also won the best actor award for male category.

Chairpersons by Rajiv Rajaram narrated the game of musical chairs with characters having tied heart-shaped balloons to their arms. The play was more a musical and so was 2922: The Ballad Of Vedant Saafi, directed by Pranay Manchanda which narrated the journey of a young sportsman in exile on the charges of doping. The  comic play won the award of Best Play by audience choice.

In between, there were serious plays like Dhalti Shamein by Juhi Goel, wherein known comedian Maheep Singh and actress Vanya Joshi represented the unconditional love, weaved together by arguments between an old age couple. Equally appreciable was the play Between Romeo and Juliet, which won the Best Script award.

There was also a play Gandhi, Chaplin and Salt: a silent movie by Pramila Le Hunte in which the search for salt takes Charlie Chaplin to Gandhi’s Dandi March. And a not-so-silent play, Dick Heads by Vivek Kumar, which narrated the story of two street children who go on to become the biggest icons ever produced by India.

An actor in Kingdom of Dreams, Vivek shares, “The credit of the story idea goes to Ashwath Bhatt (writer) who suggested me to stage the ambitions of street children when I was looking for a break from my monotony.” He was given the Best Director and Best Play award by the judges.