Mr William mediates a class of crazies who have nothing in common but being bitten by the bug of bad acting.
The Class Act is about what happens when a Muslim, who can recite Shakespeare (quite badly) at the drop of a hat, comes in contact with a politically incorrect Parsi, a “mac” from Calangute, a wanna-be actress and an angry Hindu theatre purist. Meherzad Patel’s sitcom has been making waves in Mumbai’s theatre scene for a reason – it is so bloody typecast that Mumbaiites can’t get enough of it!
There’s very little plot and story to go by so forgive me for not ruining this one with a short synopsis. The play, much like sitcoms on television, gets most of its laughs through the shenanigans of its characters, one of the most entertaining of them being the Goan stereotype — Victor Rodricks, fresh of the Volvo bus in his Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and short pink pyjamas. But best of them all is the Parsi character, who steals the show with his pants drawn all the way up to his chest, and one liners that range from sleazy to racist in seconds.
One thing that works is how well the actors have set into their roles, imbibing every last detail, accents and slang included, quite meticulously. But something that doesn’t quite float is how much the play drags on at times, with over-acting and pointless conflicts that aim to air issues such as religion and caste barriers.
But all in all, Meherzad Patel has done an excellent job with clever writing, and direction that has evidently given the actors a free reign to improvise.
One word of warning though: Parents, please don’t take your young, impressionable children to this one unless you want them to leave the hall exclaiming, “What men Mudder? You like dis play o’ what? I almost lost my family jewels from laughing so hard!”