Akvarious Productions has become a well-known name in theater over the past 16 years since its inception. With numerous award-winning productions to its belt, the group has come up with yet another unique play, titled Stand Up.
The play is about five budding comics who meet their mentor to prepare for an open mic event that could get them a big gig and change their lives. All they have to do is be at their funniest. But humour is a deadly serious business. And quite often, the joke's on you. The first line of the play itself is hilarious, and from there on there's never a dull moment. They manage to maintain that level of comedy throughout the play. The content was ridiculously good and outrageous at times.
It begins with them meeting up in a room to get warmed up for the show, where we learn about our characters. The five comics are – a CA (Omkar Kulkarni), an angry man (Adhaar Khurana), a 'gangsta' (Chaitnya Sharma, who also happens to be a real-life rap artist, hence making him 'gangsta'), a feminist (Abir Abrar) and a poet (Sarang Sathaye). Each one is funny in their own right, along with their mentor (Kashin Shetty), show producer (Nipun Dharmadhikari) and a girl (Zayn Marie Khan) who is merely a spectator at first.
As they warm up by testing their material, there are way too many conflicts between them, but you can't help but laugh. There are disagreements over material, delivery and styles. Their mentor used to be one of the greatest stand-up artists around, but he simply lost his touch. The show producer is his nemesis, but he pretends to be nice to him so one of his proteges can be selected for the big tour. It is a treat to see all this come together.
They even end up breaking the fourth wall. Once they get on the stage for selections, we are the audience they are actually performing for. That's when the play turns into an actual stand-up gig. The way these theatre guys 'stand up' will convince you they are comedians. The end is thought-provoking and more than that, the play was rewarding throughout. Watch it for a seriously funny behind-the-scenes look at stand-up comedy.
I'm going with four and a half out of five.