Meaning is in the journey

Double bonanza

Meaning is in the journey

What’s more important, the journey or the destination? The play Between the Lines directed by Cineaste’s Devesh Nigam interestingly throws up this oft-asked question. “Process ka lutf uthana chahiye, conclusion ka nahi,” the director sums up the open-ended nature of his play, remarking, “Life isn’t that simple, not everything has a conclusion. So, why does literature, theatre or cinema has to have one?”

For those who walked in with the usual expectation of watching a single theme-based play could have either been taken by surprise or left confused, for this play could spell enigma either way. Enriched with humour, satire, serious reflections and meandering thoughts, all in equal measure, the play Between the Lines comprises two short stories: Kirdaar and Death on Stage.

While the first half, Kirdaar, marks the internal reflection of a writer, where the characters of his book conjure up in his living room, urging him to change their course of life, in turn, changing the trajectory of his plot.

The second half, Death on Stage, is filled with rib-tickling punches, as it takes you through the rehearsal of a play where a character incessantly critiques the illusionary method of theatre, calling for a fresh, the so-called international approach! Inarguably, the latter part kept us glued to our seats as the artistes engaged in an entertaining conversation, ranging from setting up a train journey on the stage, leading to ‘Death’ entering the scenario. That perhaps is the beauty of combining two short stories, linked only on the basis of a subconscious conflict.

But their were glitches too. There’s no denying the fact that a few performers went overboard, the lighting didn’t synchronise with the mood of the set on occassions and to top it all, owing to the ill-ventilated and claustrophobic atmosphere inside Akshara theatre’s auditorium, a viewer fainted, leaving the performers in Kirdaar in a limbo.

It seemed life was giving equal competition to the drama on stage! When the show resumed, the characters revived the spirit of the show, engaging the audience in their act. Special mention for Deep Singh (writer of the first half), Priyankar Kumar and Ashish Mishra (actors in the second half), who made their characters come alive with a brilliantly soulful portrayal. 

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