AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
Posted on Nov 17th, 2011 in Theatre
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Life is very long- T.S. Eliott…
An impactful line that shall have you all think how true that point of contention is, as you sit through those 120 minutes and 2 Acts of the play, you will see that small line unfold in so many ways both beautiful and ugly. Beautiful for the way it has been portrayed, ugly for the truth it throws light upon highlighting a dysfunctional family.
The play, "August Osage County" makes for one of the best professional theatre I have seen in recent times because I could take a learning back from it, the seasoned actors just made you gasp with awe and it just managed to touch a chord. It is an adaptation of a highly popular broadway play written by Tracy Letts, directed by veteran actor Lillette Dubey set in the Indian state of Goa. The play stars Lillete Dubey, Sandhya Mridul, Suchitra Pillai, Ira Dubey , Meeta Vasisht, Kitu Gidwani, Auritra Ghosh, Denzil Smith, A.S. Talwar, Danny Sura, Maneesh Verma.
The story is about the Weston family all of whose members have an uncanny ability to show the other down as and when they get the opportunity. The play starts with the family patriarch, Leon sloshed beyond his wits addressing his new housekeeper, Johnna played by Ira Dubey.
Lots of witty exchanges between the rather distorted family members who strangely prefer bonding strictly when intoxicated. An emotionally volatile family thats trying hard to solve its tense husband-wife, mother-daughter, sisterly relationships.
The old couple Leon and Violet live in Goa with their second-born daughter, Ivy who is always nagged at by her mother over her plain Jane looks and ill-fitting clothes. The family gets together when news of Leon gone missing spreads and many new complications come to light. Danny played by Amar Talwar is married to Kitu Gidwani, another cantankerous woman who thinks of her husband of 40 years, a lesser mortal.
Barbara played by Sandhya Mridul is the strongest character in the play, from handling her broken marriage and the facade she has to put up about it in front of her family, to handling her mother to her pubescent 15 year old daughter, Jenny, she is "incharge" throughout till she discovers it is pointless to fight a long lost battle. Karen, the youngest daughter has always escaped ridicule by showing a different face to her judgmental family members and enters the play with her three-time previously married fiance Steve.
Lillette Dubey was indeed the highlight, as Violet, the matriarch of the Weston household, an extremely cynical woman. She is a drug addict and her daughters, especially Barbara attempts to get her off the pills she takes with or without prescription. Leon’s disappearance and consequent death evokes pretty much every emotion one can think of. However, what is wonderful is that there isn’t one character who did not perform to the best of his/her ability, neither was any role unjustified.
A dark comedy on the human tendency to put up a facade when all other means to maintain normalcy seems to fade. A trend common to almost every urban family. A tribute to the month of August, a month that reminds us that the year will soon draw to a close, a month that leads to tracing memories that have been longstandingly held in our hearts.
The gifted crew is touring India until December this year, watch it when you can.
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