How much of reality can you stomach? That's what the Hinglish play Tell Me The Truth attempts to explore through their take on the great Indian obsession with reality shows
Sometimes the most entertaining plays come from a bunch of amateurs with no real time experience or training in theatre. Tomorrow, National Law School (NLS)'s theatre group Colouring Outside the Lines will stage the premiere show of their new play Tell Me The Truth.
Written and directed by final-year student of NLS, Meghna Srinivas, the 70-minute one act play explores if reality is a choice. "It goes beyond television. But it's a satire on reality TV," says Meghna.
The play is Meghna's reaction to the increasing obsession with reality television in our country. Meghna, who worked on the script for the past nine months, says, "People watch Hindi serials and reality shows from 7 pm to 10 pm every day.
Serials like Bigg Boss, Sach Ka Samna and Rakhi Ka Swayambhar have completely captured people's minds. The play is about the impact it has in our lives."
Squeezing time out of their hectic college schedules, the group has been practicing for the last two and a half months for five times a week. "But it's fun since we started the group in my first year of college to combat stress," states Meghna.
The play looks at the life of Krishna (Padmini Baruah), who works part time in a bank and is tired with her life because of marital discord.
She has a strong bond with her mother(Pallavi Kattimani) but shared scarred relationships with everyone else because of her obsession with television. Her mind gets distorted as the line between real and reel blurs.
This is her second commercial performance and Meghna is baffled by the way television is ruling people's lives. "At some point I found the teleshopping ads and Hindi serials with extreme behaviour, emotions and drama so unreal and for some reason, the Indian audience is lapping it up. Are we so bored that we get entertained by these?" she asks.
Parallel to the main story run stories of different people and their brush with reality TV. Meghna dubs the experimental play as black comedy. "But I'm not passing any moral judgment," she says, adding, "The play is a collection of ideas. We don't follow the traditional format of a beginning, middle and end."
But the sets don't include any plasma TV screen. "It only has five chairs that keep moving," she states.
A theatre workshop at Aadi Shakti in Auroville has helped her mould the seven actors into their changing roles.
"Except for those playing the mother and daughter's roles, the rest switch roles either to become the distorted thoughts in the daughter's head or characters in television shows," reveals Meghna who hopes to take the play to theatre fests.
At Ranga Shankara
36/2, 8th Cross, JP Nagar, 2nd Phase
On November 22, 3 30 pm and 7 30 pm
Call 26592777/ 9844270608
For Rs 100