One man, many stories

Abhishek Iyengar’s play ‘Ond Second’ is slated for this evening at Ranga Shankara
Last Updated 26 December 2019, 14:23 IST

Theatre artiste Abhishek Iyengar’s next play, ‘Ond Second’, that will be staged today, is scripted around the happenings that occur as a result of an accident.
The protagonist is paralysed for life and finds it hard to accept the truth that he will never be able to walk again. This play is a one-man show.

In an interview with Metrolife, Abhishek talks about the making of the play and the challenges involved in the same.

How did the idea take seed?

There have been very less Kannada monologues. I have always worked with a large cast on stage and for me, the idea of working one-on-one with only one actor and yet tell a captivating story on stage was a big challenge. I read a Kannada translation of a Chinese short story by Gopala Krishna Pai and found it apt for Monologue. I began the process of writing it for the stage.

What is the highlight of the play?

The play is a one-man show performed by Anirudh Mahesh. It has seven different characters — all played by one actor, who is both telling the stories and enacting the characters of the play. The usage of these props add to the light design.

What were the challenges you faced?

The biggest challenge was at the writing stage when I was trying to adapt the short story to the stage. It was challenging for Anirudh Mahesh, the actor of the play, to control his breath, keeping up his energy for 55 odd minutes and yet tell the story without losing grip over the audience. The direction saw some challenges too. We had minimal resources and yet had to show different parts of the world as the story demands.

What is the crux of the story?

The story starts when the protagonist meets with an accident and is paralysed for life. The protagonist was ready to travel abroad for higher studies but his dreams fail. As he comes to terms with reality, he tries to decode why the accident happened to him.

What relevance does the play hold for society?

The story can be anyone’s story. We all go through certain incidents and then introspect on how we arrived at that point, what triggered the incident and what could have happened if we had escaped it. The story is everybody’s introspection and is narrated in a lighter vein. However, it ends on a positive note which is what we want to tell the society.

Are these relatable characters?

I always write characters and stories that are relatable because I believe that the audience should be able to see themselves on stage.

(Published 26 December 2019, 14:11 IST)

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