Humourless ‘Poison’

The Democratic Actor’s Association of Misf!t Theater (Theatrix) in association with Cult Entertainment staged a play in Alliance Francaise called "Poison" on February 19.  The play was written and directed by a debutant young director, Chandrahasa Reddy. It was promoted as a laughter riot, which talks about people, their relationships and rumours.

The play was based on the story of a married couple, Mr and Mrs Sharma and their shallow unsatisfying existence. Two other stories of a Police Inspector and an ambitious Social Worker, Smitha run in parallel to the main story. The play is about how these stories cross paths creating a huge confusion and hence comedy.

The Play starts with the actor in police constable’s role asking the audience to switch off their phones. The way it was made a part of the story was interesting but these attempts are cliché for today’s theatre.

The story is about Mrs Sharma a workingwoman, the breadwinner  of the family. Mr Sharma, is unwell and does nothing but complain constantly. She is totally frustrated by her husband’s behaviour and very unhappy with her life that has come to a standstill. Her ambitions and dreams in life shattered, all because of her husband. A frustrated Mrs Sharma, decides to poison Mr Sharma.

On the very same day, the social worker, Smitha lands up at their place to spread the rumour that the government is mixing poison in the drinking water supplied to the public. She is wanted by the police for working against the government, for money. 

The meeting of these two characters and the police landing up makes the rest of the story.

Though the play promises some good humour, it fails largely in the department of script and direction. Most of the humour was slapstick. The inexperience of the writer/director was evident. The only saving grace for the play was lighting and good acting by actors like Avinash and Balaji. Balaji tickles the humour bones with his heavy Telugu accent and Avinash who has played the role of a woman also does full justice to his role. Other actors are occasionally good. There are many instances where Richa who plays Mrs. Sharma’s role repeats herself which makes the act boring and drags the play.

The stage design did not work, as the small stage in Alliance was filled with a large set pieces making it very difficult for actors to move around. The whole setup could have been a bit more intelligent. The last part where three scenes run in parallel was well executed.

The climax is very abrupt and it is not clear on what the director has to say with this play.

POISON was a mediocre play, good in patches but definitely not worth the money charged.

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