Impactful acts win applause

Impactful acts win applause

With a serious representation and a dash of humour from different eras, two solo acts were held recently at the MLR Convention Centre as part of ‘Going Solo - An International Theatre Festival’ organised by Teamwork.

The evening’s show started with British actor and playwright Pip Utton’s latest monodrama, ‘Churchill’, which provided the  audiences the privilege of spending more than an hour’s time in the company of the ever-entertaining Winston Churchill. Rather than passing judgment on Churchill’s greatness, the play merely allowed the viewers to lazily accompany the protagonist as he indulged in his Scotch, cigars, and reveries of the past.

Charming, light-hearted, and poignant, Pip delivered as many funny one-liners as possible by involving the audience into the act as and when possible. And despite the pure British accent that Pip spoke in, most of the one-liners were well appreciated by applause. The on-and-off Bangalore references by Churchill also grabbed the attention of the audience, and kept them involved.

After a break, the performance resumed with Jailoshini Naidoo’s (an artiste from South Africa) ‘At the Edge’, where the artiste offered a look into the riots at Cato Manor from the 1940s until its destruction in the late 1950s through a series of narratives. A one-woman show, the play raised questions about alienation, exclusion, exoticism, and belonging.

Jailoshini’s wonderful performance only enhanced the story’s seamlessness as she shifted effortlessly between different roles — adult and child, man and woman and humour and pathos. This play, which was powerful, was a combination of drama, comedy and high tension, and was well-enacted by the performer. The audience, which was mesmerised by the performance of the artistes, gave a standing ovation for the performances.  “Being a history enthusiast, I wanted to come and watch the play, and see Churchill being depicted through the events of his life. The humour and dialogues might not have been understood by all, but the play was still definitely a sight to enjoy,” said Ganesh, an audience member. Intrigued by the performance, Parveen Sikand, another audience member, commented that the second act threw light on stories that were real, yet untold or subtly told. 

“It’s wonderful how the artiste weaved the different stories, changed characters in between yet told the story in the most impactful manner through different voices, accents and body language,” said Parveen. She added, “One could clearly see the callousness of the human heart and how it remains unchanged through this performance.”

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