Stereotypes come to light

Stereotypes come to light

Pure Comedy

Stereotypes come to light

Top Cast, a well-known production company, recently performed their latest play, ‘Where There’s A Will’ at Ranga Shankara. Written by Mahesh Dattani and directed by N Ravi Kumar, it was an entertaining but dark look at the patriarchal society that we live in.

The play starts with 23-year-old Ajit being sick of his rich business-minded
father, the ironically named Hasmukh Mehta, constantly pushing him towards the family business.

Showing little signs of protest, he refuses to become what his father wanted him to be. Ajit’s pregnant wife, Preeti, is a cunning daughter-in-law, evidently after the family’s wealth. On the contrary, Hasmukh’s simpleton wife, Sonal, is content feeding her son parathas all day and is shown to be overpowered by her demanding husband

Humourous stereotypes on Gujarati households, everyday fights and interesting conversations are brought out well. But just as the audience gets familiar with the situation, Hasmukh dies, though only for a moment.

His soul, now the protagonist, overlooks and delights over how his carefully thought out will tortured his own family.

In the will, he has put crores of his earnings into a trust, which would mature only when Ajit turns 45 and would shift hands only if the family puts up with certain terms and conditions, including having his mistress, Kiran, live in the same house as part of the family. The home scenario changes and the family curses Hasmukh, who continues to rule them even from his grave. But slowly, with Kiran’s presence, the marginalised women begin to find their voice. Truths that were silenced when Hasmukh were alive finally come out and the frustrated ghost see how his life was a mere shadow of his own father’s.

“I found good humour in it. I especially liked the old man’s acting – he had the right energy for such a character,” Mateen, an audience member said.

Some of the dialogues fit really well in the play and had the crowd roaring with laughter — like Ajit saying ‘I did not step into his shoes; I was shoved into them!’ or Hasmukh’s ‘It’s so good to be dead — no more kidney problems or irregular heartbeat; in fact, no heartbeats.’

“It was good — I preferred the first part because it was pure comedy and fast-paced. The second part was a little too philosophical for me but still quite interesting,” noted Vrinda, who watched the play.

Director N Ravi Kumar felt that some changes are needed in the play, but was quite happy with the overall response.

“With the cricket match on and for a weeknight, the turnout was better than I
expected. I wanted it to be a little more subtle but the English theatre audience
like the presentation to be a little loud,” he shared.

The cast includes Vijay, Anirudh, Kavita, Indira, Namrata and Anil.

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