Director: Rahul da Cunha
Writer: Anuvab Pal
Genre: Comedy | Social
India today – a dynamic country – there’s always so much happening all around! The morning paper is loaded with fresh incidents albeit shocking ones… the government is run by a group of trouble-makers if I may say so, and we the people are sitting and gazing high up in the sky awaiting a miracle. Those who believe they can bring about a change are slaves of the Social Media Revolution – a term called ‘Slacktivism’. Yes, Facebook and Twitter are very powerful tools, if used correctly… besides, they’re an open source, there is hardly anyone you will not find here… try searching for a cause or a celebrity, and look at the number of search results if you don’t believe me.
Then came the sudden surge of getting out of your houses and leading/following protest marches, read: morchas. The Gandhian activist Anna Hazare should be credited with pioneering the dharna system in India. There is also a variation on the morchas – different sects in the society are fighting for their cause each trying to make themselves heard. While ‘The Slut Walk’ that was in the news for the longest time scheduled to take place in the capital, New Delhi, never really saw the light of day, there are others that always catch the media glare. The point of contention here is not that these are just futile attempts at the hands of the many youngsters in the country today. However, the paramount issue is how to bring about the change everyone keeps talking about. There are always two sides to a coin – either you sit back and watch the hullabaloo read: tamasha or you work towards altering the environment to make the world a better place to live in, so to say. Perhaps a common man has everything to lose, such is the circumstantial net he is caught in, he inevitably had to choose the safe turf.
The Bureaucrat, a very apt political satire highlights many such issues seen from varied perspectives. The protagonist is a veteran bureaucrat serving in The North Block in New Delhi who has seen a lot of upheavals during his time. His position is almost diminutive in the office, something like a person who comes in every morning, spends time reading books in a public servant’s chair and goes back once the clock strikes 5 pm. In other words, is nothing but a puppet manned by the government. Until that eventful day, when he is beckoned by his senior official (a catering business owner turned politician). All hell has broken loose because the French PM, Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting India and a few activists have decided to strip just when his convoy passes by. New India has perhaps formed it’s tweaked version of the age-old phrase “Do or Die”.
Anuvab Pal has achieved quite an extraordinary feat by getting a stellar cast together in this story weaved together with such panache. Add to that Rahul da Cunha’s expert vision who aesthetically presented the play for the audiences. The lights and sounds were very well synchronized to give the performance a very fresh look. All the actors come from ivy-league backgrounds and their chemistry with each other was uncanny. I strongly believe that the director is always the puppet-master, perhaps it is RDC’s years of experience that unfolds to the theatre-goers. The Amul girl is still a hit, for the creatives, the taglines and she has an image of a social observer. Haven’t you ever thought how a specially gifted a witty person must be?
Rage Theatre has many good plays to it’s credit, including those showcased at the Writer’s Bloc Festival, this play will see a few re-runs in Mumbai and other cities where the group performs. It’s situational, realistic and funny. It also leaves more than one question in your head when you leave the auditorium.
What to watch out for: Everything!