Perch, Chennai presents
‘Mondays are best for flying out of windows’
Duration: 85 min
Age Limit 13 & Above
‘Mondays are best for flying out of windows’, is inspired by the stories of Daniil Kharms (1905-1942), an early Soviet era absurdist poet, writer, and dramatist. Kharms was often incarcerated by the Stalinist regime of his time for his unconventional and rebellious ways. His adult literature was not published during his lifetime and he was confined to writing for children. He is said to have starved to an anonymous death in the psychiatric ward of a Soviet hospital after being arrested in 1942.
A girl finds a job as a cashier in your store, turns the handle on the cash-till and dies. What do you do? Stick a mushroom in her hand and pretend she’s alive. People throw themselves off windows, they leap out of cupboards, they spend maddeningly long hours in queues, they attack each other with snot and cucumbers, they fall, they sleep, they fight, they die. This is the world of Daniil Kharms. Chaotic, absurd, sometimes frightening, often incomplete.
Kharms is a contrasting figure in the lineage of great Russian writers. While works of authors like Tolstoy, Pushkin and Dostoevsky are classics, most of Kharms’ stories can fit in half a sheet of paper, ending before they have even begun. You could say that he has created a genre – the anti-story - stories that seem to reject all accepted notions of narrative as a way of getting to truth.
And you find that the only rational response is to laugh. The worse it gets, the more you laugh. Kharms is the master of dark laughter. It’s so ridiculous, so absurd, it can’t be true right? Right?
‘Mondays are best for flying out of windows’ was specially commissioned for the Serendipity Arts Festival and premiered in Panjim, Goa in December 2018.
Perch is a theatre collective based in Chennai. It was formed by a motley bunch of actors, designers, filmmakers, journalists, and others in 2008. Perch’s plays include ‘Under the Mangosteen Tree’ and ‘Moonshine and Skytoffee’ (both based on the short stories of the Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer), ‘Miss Meena’ (inspired by ‘The Visit’ by Friedrich Durrenmatt), ‘Kira Kozhambu’ (created from ‘folk tales of Tamilnadu by Ki. Rajanarayanan), ‘Jujubee’, a play for children, ‘Vyabaramayanam’, a play on ideas in Tamil, ‘How to Skin a Giraffe’ (Inspired by ‘Leonce and Lena’ by Georg Buchner), ‘Cheruvannur Diaries – Typewriter Tales’, ‘Monkey and the Mobile’ and ‘Mondays are best for flying out of windows’, most of which have been staged widely both at festivals and other venues across India. Perch has been staging it plays continuously in Bangalore at Ranga Shankara and Jagriti theatre as well as other venues since inception.
Created and performed by Iswar Lalitha, Rency Philip, Sachin Gurjale, Vijay Ravikumar and Vinod Ravindran
Music composed and played by Abhaydev Praful
Translation: Jonathan Walton
Photography: Richa Bhavanam
Costumes: Kaveri Lalchand
Puppets and props created by the Cast
Set and Light Design: Kalpana Balaji and John V. Mathew
Production Management: Anushka Meenakshi
Directed by Rajiv Krishnan