Relationships – we can’t live with them, yet we can’t imagine life without them. Dinner With Friends, a Pulitzer Award-winning play by Donald Margulies discusses the relationships of marriage and friendship between two couples – one married and another getting a divorce. Directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, the play explores the complexities of marriage and portrays how it affects more than just the couple. A star cast, coupled with some brilliant one-liners ensures two hours of non-stop entertainment for the audience, as the message slowly kicks in.
The play beings with an insight into the seemingly perfect lives of Maya (Perizaad Zorabian Irani) and Vikram (Joy Sengupta). During a dinner with their friend, Dia (Achint Kaur), the couple discussing about one of their recent vacations, oblivious to Dia’s growing uneasiness. At one point, Dia is almost close to tears, when Maya and Vikram are suddenly concerned and press for the cause of her troubles. After a slight hesitation, Dia reveals to them that her husband Harsh (Vinay Jain) has left her. The couple are taken aback. Dia and Harsh were their oldest friends. In fact, they had introduced the two of them in the hope that they would end up together. Now, many years after their marriage, the couple has decided to call it quits. Meanwhile, Harsh is livid that Dia shared the news with their friends in his absence, when they had decided to break it together. Maya and Vikram’s lives are suddenly entangled with Dia and Harsh’s in the midst of the divorce and they are forced to choose sides and make sense of the broken relationship. At the same time, they also begin to question the stability of their own marriage.
Initially the play has a casual air to it with its humorous content and typical scenarios. As the play proceeds, many aspects of the relationships between the characters unravel, giving the audience an insight into their realities. The theme shifts from humor to romance to psychodrama, exploring the lives of each character and the impact one failed relationship can have on the other. Meanwhile, the actors do a brilliant job of keeping the audience engaged throughout the play. Perizaad Zorabian Irani perfectly adapts to her character of an aggressive opinionated woman, but it is Joy Sengupta who steals the spotlight with his spontaneous reactions to every situation. The chemistry between the two is absolutely marvelous, setting clear relationship goals among those in the audience.
Couples will certainly be able to connect with this play; as will anyone who has been affected by the relationships of his/her close friends. The play is an ideal watch with your partner. It offers you some good laughs and the message will resonate deeper. Do not forget to catch the play the next time it stages in your city.