Writers Bloc 3
Play: Satellite City (A Quaff Theatre Production)
Written by: Irwati Karnik
Directed By: Nayantara Kotian
Cast: Abir Abrar/ Tariq Vasudeva/ Siddhant Karnik/ Aseem Hattangady/ Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Shruti Vyas
Review: Irwati Karnik, the playwright’s firsthand experience as a creative head in a television production house has been beautifully transferred on stage as a mélange of stories. These surface in the frivolous world of television stars, production co-coordinators, producers and people who are addicted to mindless offerings in the name of entertainment.
On a metaphorical level the play is a coming together of the many snippets of the lives we lead today. We are a money obsessed tribe, not really looking for a purpose as long as the steady flow of perks is on the rise. The TRP driven world of the television industry could not have been more realistically portrayed. The non-linear narrative approach that Director Nayantara Kotian has so expertly shown is what makes the play even more gripping. Expect the unexpected.
The play recreates the television world with a lot of honesty. No spoof or satire, just plainly saying it the way it is. If you are seeking to break parameters then this industry may seem like a territory impossible to conquer. You have to underplay intelligence, overstretch banal ideas, support them with loud, hysteria inducing background scores that keeps a million hearts glued to your soap opera, all thumping in anticipation. It’s really a celebration of stupidity, where the dumb earn dollops of praises and pennies. So let’s just come to terms with the fact that couch potatoes have little or no scope for redemption.
A television producer reprimands his assistant for being too creative and suggests a hobby class as a substitute to her enthusiasm. A writer narrating Bollywood movie plots as ideas and projecting it as recycled originality will leave you in splits. You see a struggling actress hating to step out of her house, fearing the fact that she may go unrecognized. You see a production guy struggling to cope with his father’s addiction to television at the cost of their real-time bonding. You see an office guard being mercilessly beaten because somebody had to randomly face the brunt of a break-up. Half-baked living that gives rise to many poignant moments. The irony of a consumerism loving industry.
A tad before the climax the following verse enacted by one amongst the gifted cast haunts us as it speaks aloud “I see my hand turn it on, and see my eyes and a part of my brain agree. And the part that sort of doesn’t just goes quiet and allows it… and then participates…or goes too numb to care. It’s comforting. But sometimes, not often, it suddenly makes me crave my patch of sky”.
The patch of sky each of us is trying to perhaps discover at the end of the day. To maximize it and to seek solace from all things banal within it. It’s a patch of sky each of you can reclaim at the “Writers Bloc 3”. It’s theatre backed by mentors and lots of moments to take back home.