Girish Karnad, master playwright, for the first time directed his own creation, specially designed for Rangashankara. Using the above theme, he narrates the story of a Kannada writer who becomes famous for her bestseller in English! Karnad is aptly supported by Arundathi Raja who puts up a brilliant show.
The play starts off with a TV speech of Manjula Nayak who gives credits and briefs about her success and the story by answering two frequently asked questions. “Why in English?” and “Why that story?”. Soon after the briefing, she is drawn into discussion by her own image that appears on TV screen. Her digital image queries, ponders and manages to peel each layer of Manjula Nayak’s life. Manjula, is compelled to look at her life, often breaking down, often complaining and often defending herself. At the end audience gets a radically opposite picture of what it gets in the first shot of speech.
The plays I had seen earlier like Final Rehearsal had only one character, Iti Ninna Amritha had only two characters. But here it was something different. The live character had to cope with the recorded show. And man, does not she act well!! For one complete hour, Arundathi competes with her own image, manages to deliver absolutely glitchless dialogues, maintains hitch pitch, coupled with impressive facial expressions.
The narration, direction and performance could have lost the track at so many places, which it didn’t and this is the high point of the show. In my overall rating, this play might still rate lower than Iti Ninna Amritha amd probably Final Rehearsal, because of the rich content, pace, striking emotions and just-right comedy in the other two.
And it also depends on other factors that affect the mindset while watching.
But, nonetheless, it was a brilliant show!