Two couples meet to discuss their kids. The boys fought in the park and in the process, one got two of his teeth knocked out. The 11-year-old culprit’s parents Alan (Zafar Karachiwala) and Annette (Anu Menon ) visit Veronica (Shernaz Patel ) and Michael (Sohrab Ardeshir), the victim’s mum and dad. The meeting begins awkwardly but cordially. Veronica aggressively touts herself as a model citizen. Her coffee table, with its carefully put together selection of art catalogues, attests to her serious passion for art. She’s writing a book on Darfur. And she’s concerned about the implications of the playground tiff.

Her husband Michael initially plays the henpecked husband, echoing his wife’s views on parenting. Annette, a studiously urbane wealth manager dressed in fancy attires, is polite, accommodating Veronica’s velvet-gloved hints about her parenting skills. On the other hand Alan, a hot-shot lawyer, annoys everyone by relentlessly talking on the phone about a case in which he’s representing a dubious pharma company. He’s both sophisticated (except when it comes to eating dessert) and ruthless, as if he’s equally capable of fighting in court and masterminding an assassination.

After a crisis moment involving smelly fluids, the civilised meeting dissolves into a fight. Here’s where the play really picks up. The kids reacted naturally and spontaneously with violence. The adults, who are no better, just take longer to bust out the childish behaviour. Once the layers of social conventions are peeled away, they react the way they’ve been wanting to all along – yelling and causing negligible yet physical harm. Like in The Siddhus of Upper Juhu, Patel shines when her character is pushed to an extreme. She’s far better as the raving Veronica, who succumbs to instincts.

To be showcased in St. Andrews auditorium, Mumbai , The God of Carnage has received raved reviews from theatre fans & critics alike. This play is a perfect example of how our societal traps do a not-so-good job of hiding our venality & vengeance. The tickets are available on platforms like BookMyShow and you must go and watch it. If nothing more, it will only just take you closer to reality!

Written By: Nikita Mehta

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