A routine exit interview, with an ironical outcome

Pragmatic humour, naturalistic acting and authentic hippodrome set-up — these words best describe the play ‘Investigation – SBC’ that was staged as part of Deccan Herald Theatre Festival at Ranga Shankara on Friday.

The play has been written by Sriram Iyer and directed by the well-known theatre personality Prakash Belawadi. It was a full house again. It closed with the audience hooting and whistling for the skilled performance and the uncalled for ending of the play.

With a first-person narrative, the play starts off with an exit interview on Skype of employee Raju Cariappa (who has a funny story on how he derived the name Cariappa) with the HR person at a corporate head office in California.

The usual ‘HR questions’ are thrown at Raju (who notes his thoughts down and words them carefully).

One last question asking him to suggest measures to improve the status of the employees leads to an investigation of a sexual harassment case — supposedly taken place between his colleagues Sameera Wagle and Victor Johnson.

No, this is not a serious case of sexual harassment. With weird and hilarious twists (very relatable to the usual workplace scenario), the characters in the play fire a series of dialogues that ironically hold true to most of the designated officials heading every company (especially the HR).

Sarcastic truths flow out in series, and the entire cast — Abhijit Shetty, Shashank Purushotham, Prakash Iyengar, Divya Raghuram, Siri Ravikumar, Mohan Ram, Anirudh Acharya, Naveen and Spoorthi Gumaste — put them across to the audience.

The Standard Business Communication (SBC), which is mostly a non-standard and humorous communication, comes to an ironical conclusion with a total twist in the whole investigation.

Ananth, a theatre buff, said, “I looked forward to attending this play since I am a fan of Prakash Belawadi’s works. I follow his Kannada serials and wanted to experience his plays too. I enjoyed the play throughout.”

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