Tat Tvam is a young Bangalore theatre group; and "God", by Woody Allen, was their first production. They are a group of amateur artistes; many of them are IT professionals, but a few of them are students, too. For a first production, "God" was a fairly ambitious project to choose, and they did manage to do a good job of the production.
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"God" is a half-absurd,half-metaphysical play, and the locale and the characters change with bewildering rapidity between ancient Greece and Manhattan!
In the words of Miracle Entertainment, the group that had earlier staged this play:
"Set in an empty Greek amphitheater, this somewhat crazy one act play within a play switches back and forth between ancient Athens and modern Broadway. A Greek actor and a writer are discussing how to end a play. Actors, including Doris Levine from Great Neck, Blanche DuBois, and Groucho Marx, pop out of the audience. Peppered with metaphysical and philosophical questions, the play skids along farcically until the actor and writer conclude that it lacks a beginning as well as an end."
I found this very good description about the play, too…..read about it
The play was directed by Avinash Daniel, and had a talented cast of actors. BHakti as Doris, and Krittika as Blanche, were particulary worthy of mention. the whole cast has got their comic timing well practiced, and the reaction of the audience showed this.
The dialogue and the cast’s interpretation of it had the audience hooting with laughter; the unexpected and the absurd made for a good evening’s entertainment. There were almost no fumbles with the dialogue, and each member of the cast bore his or her share of the play very well. I must mention Seshan Kannan who put in a brief appearance as the King, and he seemed to be very popular with the audience though I personally have not seen any of his work earlier!
It was good to see that the props were of excellent quality, as were the costumes…this is rather unusual in a young group that is putting up its first production! Speaking to Avinash Daniel later, I learnt that Shashi Adappa, a noted Kannada art director, provided the theatre group with the excellent stage properties at a nominal charge. "I am greatly indebted for this help," says Daniel gratefully.
Obviously, funding has not been one of the problems that Tat Tvam has been facing.
Special mention has to be made of the use of lights, by Mayank and Ruchi. Sound Haimanti/ Costumes by Daniel and Avinash Rajendran (who also acted as Diabetes) were also very well done.
"I have always been a big fan of Woody Allen," says Avinash Daniel. "I like the way Woody Allen treats the difficult topic of God with humour." Woody Allen, he says, is making a statement against pseudoism.. "The meaning in the play appealed more to me than the comedy in it," remarks Daniel, who adds that he perfomred a year and a half ago, at ADA Ranga Mandira, under the aegis of another group.
All this having been said, I regretfully have to add that a certain rawness informs the entire production; it was obvious that not many rehearsals had been done (Daniel told me that it was staged in 20 days!) The youth, and the inexperience of the group, did show through, and though the audience was very supportive, a more finished production would certainly be more welcome, particularly in view of the cost of the tickets to the theatre-goer. ⊕