Not much of a steal

PLAY ON


A message like that makes one wonder whether we are just thieves at the end of the day. When Motley had brought in one of their productions All Thieves to Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival, there were lot of expectations and looking by the high-profile attendance at the play, there was no doubt about it. So was the play a steal? Or did it end up stealing time?

Motley sure has a reputation to pick interesting stories from literature and perform it on stage.  But it also has actors like Naseeruddin Shah or Ratna Pathak Shah giving outstanding performances.

For All Thieves, Motley sure did choose interesting short stories by Calvinho, Murakami, Mohan Rakesh and Kamtanath. Unfortunately, the young guns of Motley (Faisal Rashid, Ankur Vikal, Imaad Shah, Om and Heeba Shah) didn’t live up to the lively previous  productions.

The first-half was in English a nd the second in Hindi. The production, however, started off with the interesting Making Do by Calvinho. The actor, who enacted a statue for almost 15 minutes, was very impressive. But what followed were mere solo recitations of stories.

As nostalgic oldies played in the background, Heeba Shah made her entrance.The lovely actor sure knows how to deliver dialogues. Unfortunately, some of her expressions looked blank. In her solo piece, there were table and chairs on the stage but no explanation as to why she had to mime the laying out of the settings.  All the while, she told the audience about a light-eyed man who kept noticing her untied shoelaces.

The other starry kid on stage Imaad Shah looked a lot like his father but again his solo play, On seeing the 100 per cent perfect girl one beautiful April morning, was nothing but a recital of the story. Lack of dramatic actions or movements sure did drive many out of the auditorium soon after the intermission.  The catchy lines may have provided some giggles but it sure didn’t leave any lasting impressions.

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