Sunday, December 17, 2006

The procession never began

Shobhayatra - A hard hitting satire on the current society and how people's values today are totally different from the national leaders who gave us Independence. How people exploit others and certain social situations to turn the tide in their favour. This is the gist of the play Shobhayatra which debuted in the Prithvi Theatre festival.The story is about 5 people who are to play the roles of Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru, Subhashchandra Bose, Lokmanya Tilak and Jhansi Ki Rani. They are dressed up as these leaders and they are to go on a procession to mark the country's fifty years of Independence.

As the play moves forward we learn that the procession is actually organised by a DON and how each is totally different from the character he is playing. The man playing Gandhiji wants a chilled Pepsi and advises his son to stay put in the US. Pandit Nehru's character acts fresh with the Indian girl and acts as if he does not like anything Western though in his mind, he is interested in an American girl (who depicts the irresistible seductions of the affluent west) who is his daughter's age. The man playing the role of Lokmanya Tilak has leaked the exam papers and has got caught and tries to keep promoting regionalism. The actor who has donned the role of Subashchandra Bose is the Don's lawyer. There are other important characters like Jhansi ki Rani, the small boy who delivers tea to the actors, the Don's men etc. It is not like a typical movie where a solution is given but each has realised that he has done something wrong.

All in all a nice play that gives a message and at the same time makes you laugh.