Imagine getting a free pass to Evam’s play getting to sit right there in the second row, so near to where all the action’s taking place? Well, you would just be one of the lucky bloggers in town who got this opportunity, thanks to Evam and Hamsini! :)
Evam needs no introduction as it just totally changed the entire theatre scenario in Chennai by infusing freshness into it! This was the first time I was getting to watch an Evam play and only the second time in my entire life that I was watching a play! The first I saw was ‘This English’ put up by Mithran Devanesan, Neelakantan(Neelu) and Karthik and the second was this Evam play, yesterday at 2 at Sivagami Pettachi hall, Luz Church road. It was like a mini-bloggers meet in itself, considering 4 of us turned up- Hamsini, ‘Sagaro’ Ganesh, Kausik Ram and I.
The play started off with the big three- Karthik Kumar, Sunil and the other Karthik Srinivasan(TMK who had also acted in ‘This English’) giving a brief intro that gets disrupted by TMK’s whacky show of non-coperation! So starts what actually is supposed to be an interlude to the actual play- Monty Python’s ‘The Cut’. A space-filler supposed to keep us occupied till KK recaptures TMK and brings him back to stage- convinced to do ‘Hamlet’, ‘The Cut’ proves to be a very different, funny and whacky.
I’m no play-hopper and so I am no great authority to comment on it but I found the script of the play…or plays rather, that, in totality, form ‘The Cut’, to be something which required a wild imagination to conceive it! To put it simply, ‘The Cut’ was a play within a play within a play within… and it goes on! It’s hilarious and had brilliant performances to back it. Every actor fit his/her shoes to a ‘T’ and were simply too good!
The way the actors mingled with the audience and suddenly popped up with their lines was a very innovative conception! You never could predict if the sober gentleman sitting two seats away was part of the play or not until the play actually got over!
‘The Hamlet’ began after the short break when KK finally returned with a reluctant TMK. The spoof was good and the comedy was good, but not exceptional! TMK was the best in ‘The Hamlet’ and his performance as ‘Ophelia’ was beyond brilliant! He was so natural and innovative. Oh… just TOOOOO good! I was bowled over by his acting in ‘This English’ and this time has just increased my admiration of his immense acting potential! You should have seen the way he recited the poem ‘Farewell to Ms.Padma’ by Nizzim Ezekiel in ‘This English’. Oh… he’s a GENIUS!!!
Karthik Kumar and Sunil were brilliant in their own way. These guys are so not self-conscious and their passion for theatre is seen clear! I liked the way they recapitulated the entire play backwards! It was hilarious!!!
Now for the flip side…. WHAT I DID NOT LIKE…
The play tried to convey the piteous state of actors who live many a role in their life except for their own original selves! This theme- quite brilliant in its idea, lost focus as the play shifted gears to just be funny! And the fun was momentary. The kind of stuff that makes you laugh momentarily but that not really lingers when you get back home. It was not classy humour!
The ending was very insipid and trite! It required a more impressive ending.
First things first-I have not read the Shakespearean classic to comment with authority! But what I felt was that the play banked more on the final ‘replays’ in backward motion and quick motion than in its normally paced fuller version!
I loved the fact that the whole play was very interactive and involved the audience in its scheme of things. But what was the whole point? What were they getting at? I couldn’t answer that! The whole play was just to make us laugh and had absolutely no other purpose to it!
In case you just want a good two hours of hilarity coupled with a talented bunch of actors, go ahead and watch Evam’s ‘The Cut of Hamlet’. But in case you’re looking for a tad more than that…some kind of a purpose and theme behind the whole thing other than just comedy, you will be left laughing all right, but you wouldn’t derive the complete satisfaction!
I liked the play but did not love it! ‘This English’ still has me going on about it! I LOVED that! Somehow, in some way ‘The Cut of Hamlet’ did not have me as impressed as the first play I ever saw.
Maybe it was just that I was unfairly comparing both the plays…or maybe I was being too judgemental…or maybe I am no authority to gauge its standards and review it… or maybe it was just that meeting and talking to Karthik Kumar at the end of the play stole the thunder away from the whole show…
And guess what??? He asked me if I was sitting in the second row! And…. I WAS!!! Hu hu hu!!! Boy, am I not thrilled? :D