Ladies Sangeet: Play Review

A sangeet is an integral part of an Indian wedding celebration, and it forms the backdrop of Aadyam’s latest play. After I Don’t Like It. As You Like It and Loretta, the third play of Aadyam 2016 was held this weekend. Written and directed by Purva Naresh, Ladies Sangeet showcases the story of a traditional Indian family.

Radha (Shikha Talsania) and Sid (Siddharth Kumar) are all set to get married and the entire family is busy with the preparations. Radha’s mom, Megha (Lovleen Mishra), and Madhura Bua (Sarika Singh) discuss everything – from how the bride-to-be needs to touch her in-laws’ feet to the jewelry she should wear. Being the modern girl that she is, Radha barely wants to follow these traditions. Besides worrying about her daughter’s wedding prep, Megha also has to deal with other issues. She and her husband, Yash (Joy Sengupta), have been living in separate bedrooms for five years, and need to sort out their differences, and even make an attempt as the play progresses. This is the most serious storyline in the play. The others are comparatively light-hearted. The Dadi (Nivedita Bhargava) is busy teaching her granddaughter, Rukmini (Trisha Kale), some classical songs and insists that the sangeet won’t have any Bollywood numbers, while the granddaughter plays along hoping to convince her Dadi. The Buas, meanwhile, try to come to terms with their body-image issues, with their bar-dancer sister-in-law’s help. 

The play explores all these complex bonds between members of the family, but without becoming too intense. The first half of Ladies Sangeet is hilarious and the jokes about Indian traditions are fresh and will definitely leave you in splits. Things get a bit serious in the second half when a certain character makes a startling revelation. But even so, it manages to raise a few laughs and provoke thought.

All the actors are absolutely fabulous and keep you hooked with their brilliant performances. A special mention to Gopal Dutt, who plays the wedding planner (Hosadiya). He gets some of the best lines and makes the most of them. The set, too, was well-designed and created the feel of a traditional wedding venue.

The best part about this play is the music. Ladies Sangeet is filled with rare, classical melodies, most of which are sung by Nivedita Bhargava. The play also manages to tackle some serious issues. Is marriage really necessary? Should people hate themselves for the color of their skin? Ladies Sangeet answers all of these questions and many more without being too dramatic. If you are a fan of realistic plays with a touch of the theatrical, you’ll love Aadyam’s latest production! There’ll be shows at the NCPA in Mumbai, coming weekend, and later in NCR. If you’re in town, do attend this grand sangeet.

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