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Katha Collage: Life as a mirage

Katha Collage: Life as a mirage
Highlights

In over six years since their debut in 2008, city-based Udaan Performing Arts have staged 24 plays, a consistent output comprising translated plays and experimental works. ‘Katha Collage’, their recent one staged for the first time on Thursday evening at Lamakaan,

In over six years since their debut in 2008, city-based Udaan Performing Arts have staged 24 plays, a consistent output comprising translated plays and experimental works. ‘Katha Collage’, their recent one staged for the first time on Thursday evening at Lamakaan, was defined as a ‘devised production’ based on ‘collaborative improvisational work’ on real life experiences of the five artistes who enacted their scenes for over an hour.

Armed with minimal props and attempting to trace the evolution of the characters from the womb to growing up, the play progresses in a pre-ordained manner, taking time to show them emerge as adults, in which each of the five, which includes a feisty, no-nonsense female character, bare their hearts about how life has treated each one of them.

The youngsters have their own pains and unrequited desires. While it is seeking an individual identity, unmindful of what the world sees and says for the gutsy girl, for another it is reaching out to his mother, and for another it is focusing on his life’s ultimate goal, and so on.

A scene from the play

There are references to modern social injustices in the form of reverse discrimination on the basis of one’s caste as also how one loses oneself while pursuing a career and seeking individual progress. The act had a multi-lingual feel too, in a bid to appeal to the variety of viewership, with the characters speaking a mix of English, Hindi and local language Telugu.

What went against the staged play was its length and despite a near-flawless rendition by all the actors, the fluctuating levels of interest in the stories that were narrated which were very normal and oft-heard to say the least. The twists and turns, as the characters narrated their life stories, were minimal and thus the empathy levels of the audience differed from actor to actor.

Udaan has been endeavouring to explore new frontiers in the theatre field which is evident from the successful and repeated performances they have been staging all over the city in recent times. In this latest production too, the characters, part of the workshop conducted for them seem to have been given a free hand to shape up their outputs, which appealed in patches. A closer evaluation at ironing out the glitches can result in an improved show as it is repeated later.

By:K Naresh Kumar

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