Rage Productions is known for producing some of the finest plays in the city. They are back this month with some of their best plays, to be staged at the famous Prithvi Theatre this week. We caught Iron yesterday, which is set to be staged once again this evening, followed by three more acclaimed plays. They are all happening at Prithvi and if you are a fan of theatre, you must catch at least one performance of every play.
What’s Iron About:
Iron stars the co-producer of Rage Productions – Shernaz Patel – in the lead role, alongside Dilnaz Irani, while Meher Acharia-Dar and Kenny Desai play significant roles. An inmate of a women’s prison, Faye (Shernaz) leads a lonely life. She has not been in touch with her family, nor has anyone visited her in prison for the 15 years that she has been there. Her only company is the prison guards Sheila (Meher) – a strict woman with a soft spot for Faye – and George (Kenny) – a kind man but an adherent of law and order. One day, Faye’s daughter, Josie (Dilnaz) comes to visit. After reconnecting with her mother, Josie keeps dropping by to learn what drove Faye to kill her husband and Josie’s father – the incident that broke their family apart and sentenced Faye to life imprisonment.
Iron is the work of the Scottish writer Rona Munro, more famously known for writing the Doctor Who series. This play is set in Britain, but can easily be staged in any part of the world, even though Rage decided to stick to the roots. The accents of the actors were not perfectly ‘English’, but that hardly hampers the overall experience of the play. Each actor displays excellence in their roles, especially Shernaz Patel, who captures hearts with her pitiful state. She is a strong woman, not devoid of a sense of humor or freedom. Matching her in every aspect is Dilnaz Irani, who has a mighty job of being at par with this veteran actress, and shines in her role. Their chemistry is heart-rending and the progression of their characters is beautifully depicted throughout the play. Meher Acharia-Dar and Kenny Desai also entertain in their parts, even though their roles mainly comprised them walking about the stage while the action happens at the center.
The story develops slowly and steadily, not missing out on the finer details of each character’s unique traits. We see more than just a reconnection between a mother and a daughter. Sheila’s special interest in Faye and George’s intrinsic philosophies are also revealed along the way. But this does not distract from the main plot of the story – the reason Faye killed her husband. It progresses to a heart-wrenching climax, which might elicit a tear or two.
What Could’ve Been Better:
With a 3-hour long performance, the story seems to be a bit slow at places that could have been completely avoided. Many intense theories are formed in the audience’s mind along the way, but the climax just goes on to prove that not everything needs to be too complicated.
Why You Should Watch:
Iron gives you what mainstream theatre in Mumbai is lacking – pain and empathy. It does not simply aim to entertain, but make the audience think and form opinions. It raises questions, it shows a realistic side of human nature, while also sympathizing with the wounded soul. Iron is a play everyone must watch and if you’re around Prithvi Theatre this evening, do treat yourself to an enriching experience.