The Little Black Box
Two new plays under Aadyam’s Season 3, were staged at the G5A blackboxtheatre, and the experience of watching them was very different from whatit would be at a conventional venue.
With flexible staging and seating, it is more exciting for the performer aswell as the audience that gets a kind of immersive experience.
Mohit Takalkar, doing a Hindi version of his wonderful Marathi play GajabKahani, in a witty adaptation by Amitosh Nagpal, used all four sides of thespace, and had the audience in swivel seats, turning around to facethe action wherever it took place.
In the play the epic journey is simplified; the sets are made of rough woodand it is up to the audience to imagine palaces, forests and a ship. It isa story of great endurance and friendship between a man and beast–moving,funny and engaging.
Earlier, at the same venue, Danish Husain’s Guards At The Taj wasperformed. The award-winning play by Rajiv Joseph, builds a stunning satireour of the legend that Shahjehan had the hands of 20000 workers chopped off,so that nothing as beautiful as the Taj Mahal could ever be built. Men whohad laboured for sixteen years on the emperor’s tribute to his beloved wifeMumtaz Mahal, were ‘rewarded’ in this hideously cruel manner by anuncaring ruler.
Fernandes and Vrajesh Hirjee), whose friendship, loyalty and sanity arestretched thin by the terrible job they have to do. The interpretation of this act is left to the audience’s imagination, and it is so easily linked to what is going on in the world today, with egotistical rulers and subservient masses quick to be provoked to violence.
Husain used two sides of the space, while audiences were seated on the remaining two sides and in the centre. The ones in the centre had to get up and turn their chairs when a scene shifted to the other side.
Both productions maximised the use of the space and got the audience toparticipate in innovative ways.