Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Butcher of Quietly - Actor Factor - Sunit Sinha

The invitation for the Butcher of Quietly introduced the play as A woman’s skull buried deep down in the dark pages of history. A secret investigation leads us to the first ever murder committed in cold blood in a jungle kingdom called Quietly. The play reflects on our current politics of indifference and power based on total ignorance of the social good. The Butcher of Quietly is at times poetic, at times rip-roaring funny, mostly theatrical, and quietly dark.

Sounded promising and since this was at 7pm at IHC and promised to be 75 mins long, I bought the tickets as I felt we had enough time to reach NSD to catch the 9:30pm show of Little Big Tragedies.

Most theater plays start on time or a maximum of a 5-10 minute delay in extenuating circumstances. We reached the Stein auditorium by 6:45pm. But we were all requested to continue to stand outside (guard politely declined permission for anyone to enter the auditorium premises) until "The Womb Ensemble" finished playing.

"The Womb Ensemble" is a noble initiative to bring pure sounds from around the planet on one stage and the musicians Shashwat Srivastava, Arnab Das and Vaishali Chakravarthy were good. But they kept playing until 7:10pm and the audience was forced to stand outside and shiver in the cold waiting for them to finish, so we could finally enter the Stein auditorium.

The play finally started at 7:25pm and by 7:35pm sections of the audience had already started walking out.

We stayed on hoping things would improve, but the script was weak, what were intended as jokes (urine and crap related with the jester sniffing butts and crotches) were crass and fell absolutely flat, the music was piercing and painful during what were supposed to be crescendos. Varoon Anand as Soola was the only decent performer, but even he couldn't do much with the dialogue that he was given.

Each dimming of lights, saw more people rushing to the exits and by the time 30 minutes had passed, half the audience had walked out and unfortunately we felt compelled to do the same. This is the first time, we have ever walked out halfway through a theater production.

This is a play that should never have been made.

First The Leela Tapes which was average and now this. I don't think we will be watching their productions anymore.

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